Mar 302019

Hi Danny,

Welcome to Escape With Dollycas.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am Danny Pelfrey. I am married to Wanda who is my co-author and partner in every aspect of life. We have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. I am a graduate of Point University and hold a Master of Ministry from Kentucky Christian University. I served as a pastor in several states over a period of more than forty years. Both Wanda and I started writing non-fiction early in our adult lives. We are now back home in Adairsville, Georgia living in our little Cape Cod cottage where I spend much of my time writing inspirational mysteries, set in our home town.

What are three things people don’t know about you?

(1) I am a fan of old western movies. (2) I am a baseball fanatic (3) I was for a time pastor to a young Todd Beamer, 9-11 United Flight 93 hero.  Wow!! 

What is the first book you remember reading?

The first chapter book I remember reading, though I am sure there were others I do not remember, was THE BOBBSY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY. I must have been in the third grade at the time.

What are you reading now?

Presently, I am reading MOJAVE CROSSING by Louis L’Amour. Some time back, I purchased an entire shelf of L’Amour’s books. I find them extremely entertaining and pull one out from time to time, often devouring them.

What made you decide you want to write?

I have had a fascination with books for most of my life. I had no access to TV through much of my high school years. I used books to fill the entertainment void, and it was not unusual for me to read as many as three books a week before sports started occupying so much of my time. Wanda and I began dating in our senior year of high school and attended the same college. We were married after two years of college. From the time I first knew her, she wanted to be a writer.  That dream became a reality for her shortly after graduation when she started writing curriculum for various publishing houses and went on to books etc. It was her love of the craft that got my attention and drew me in.  First, it was articles for national publications, then a devotional type book, a newspaper column, A book of local history. Once I started writing mystery, I was hooked, and I don’t think there is any turning back.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I am glad you asked that question because I love my “study” where I do almost all my writing. My computer sits on an antique library table along with my printer on one side and an Antique Underwood typewriter on the other. There are books everywhere you look, including two-hundred-year-old leather-bound volumes. There is a stained-glass window which came from a historical church that has been installed over the desk, and a one-hundred-year-old plus pulpit from the same church. On the wall in front of me when I sit down at the computer are framed images of books I have written, along with newspaper articles and other items having to do with my writing. Such an environment feeds my creativity.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The Davis Morgan Mystery Stories, though fiction, are triggered by actual historical events from our little town. Someone once told me that fiction is the result of asking the question, “What if.” That is the question I have asked about those historical events that led to the stories. My youngest sister simply says I have a wild imagination.

What books have most inspired you?

There have been several non-fiction books that have greatly inspired me with the Bible, of course, taking first place, but for our purpose here, I’m going to stick with fiction. Two books that come to my mind that greatly inspired me have a simpler theme. They are Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD and John Grisham’s first book, A TIME TO KILL.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Being a non-fiction writer who has just in the last few years come to fiction, one of the challenges for me has been natural dialogue. I think I’ve finally gotten over the hump, but in the beginning, my dialogue which usually makes up more than fifty per cent of the book was often rather stilted. I am fortunate to have a co-author who is more knowledgeable about the English language than I am, who does a great job of polishing what I write.

 What do you think makes a good story?

A short answer is… interesting characters, fascinating setting (my wife is a perpetual reader of mysteries, and I have noticed setting is one of the most important considerations for her), movement, and enough twists and surprises to keep it interesting.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I have a lot in common with Davis Morgan, but he is more the person I would like to be than the person I am.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

Our genre is usually tagged as cozy inspirational mystery. We sometimes call it “mysteries with a message.” I picked it because as a retired pastor, I felt obligated, perhaps called, to have an inspirational edge to my writing. I know I must be careful to keep that aspect of the story subtle and never resort to an in your face approach. Mystery was chosen because I enjoy reading it. I never really considered anything else when I decided I wanted to write fiction.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I think the main thing that makes our books different than others in this genre is the setting. Using our home town as the setting adds landmark and history details not always found in cozy mysteries. One new fan told me, “Your books remind me of the Mitford books.” Then she paused and said, “No, I like them better than the Mitford books.” That, of course, made my day. She was telling me, “it’s the setting that sets your books apart from others.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

We are busy at work on the first book in a new series that will also be set in Adairsville. The protagonists in this series will be a brother/sister team by the name of Kirby and Riley. Somewhere down the line I hope to write that serious piece of literature that has been on my mind for a while.

Danny, thank you so much for visiting today!     



About the Book

Like A Tree (A Davis Morgan Mystery)
Inspirational Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
CrossLink Publishing (March 26, 2019)
Paperback: 175 pages
ISBN-10: 1633571556
ISBN-13: 978-1633571556

The movie industry spreading across Georgia has finally made its way to the little foothill village of Adairsville. Bookseller and police chaplain, Davis Morgan along with a young female clerk discover the body of a member of the movie company on a historic site at the foot of a large oak tree. Davis, despite his promise to his wife, cannot resist investigating the mystery. He and his young pal, policeman Charley Nelson, quietly dig into the case even though it is officially under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. There is no shortage of suspects: the mysterious red headed man, sister of the victim, the fiancée and others. During the investigation an already troubled Charley is framed for a drug crime, and Davis receives word that an old enemy is on his way to Georgia after escaping from prison to make good on a threat against him. Late one afternoon it all comes to an astonishing conclusion beneath the same sprawling oak where it started.

Praise forLike A Tree(A Davis Morgan Mystery)
by Danny Pelfrey & Wanda Pelfrey

I think what I appreciate most about this novel is that the co-authors don’t sugarcoat life. They acknowledge that bad situations and events do happen, and sometimes these happen to good people too.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

More About the Authors

Danny & Wanda Pelfrey are a husband/wife team who in the past wrote helpful non-fiction books and material. Recently they have turned to producing “mysteries with a message.” Their stories are usually set in a small southern town in Georgia called Adairsville. Danny grew up in a poverty situation where he was often without access to TV for entertainment so he found books. It was not unusual for him, in his high school years, to read three or four books a week. So his love affair with books developed early. Danny received a degree from Point University and a Master of Ministry from Kentucky Christian University. He spent many years serving pastorates with churches in several states. Danny is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Wanda started her writing career writing curriculum for various publishers. Among books she has authored is the popular, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR CHILD’S TEACHABLE MOMENTS. She spent twenty-four years as a primary teacher in a Montessori school. She enjoys quilting and has never lost her love for reading. The Pelfreys have two daughters and five grandchildren. LIKE A TREE is the fourth Davis Morgan Mystery on which they have collaborated.

Author Links – Website  Facebook  Twitter – @dwpelfrey

Links for purchase: Amazon, CrossLink Publishing, Banes & Noble

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Jan 302019

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to Welcome Sherry Harris to Escape With Dollycas today!

Hi Sherry,

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I write the Agatha Award nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera mysteries set on the beautiful beaches of the panhandle of Florida. The sixth book in the series, The Gun Also Rises, that was released yesterday.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? I was on Romper Room when I was four – yep I’m that old. I’ve lived in ten different cities/towns. I was the editor in chief of my high school year book.

What is the first book you remember reading? Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

What are you reading now? I just finished Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce. A wonderful story that made me cry.

What made you decide you want to write? I’ve always loved reading and writing stories. One of my early influences were the books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Her protagonist Betsy wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be Betsy so I too wanted to write.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I usually write in my office on the second story of our house. One window looks out at my neighbor’s house and the other at a patch of woods.

Do you write at the same day every day? I usually write in the afternoon because I’m not a morning person. However, the closer I am to a deadline the more you’ll find me writing in the morning too.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? All different places. The plot for the second book, The Longest Yard Sale, is based on a crime that was committed when we were stationed at F.E.Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

What books have most inspired you? As I mentioned above the books by Maud Hart Lovelace, Jackdaws by Ken Follett, and anything by Julia Spencer Fleming.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? Getting over the fear that someday I’m going to sit at my computer and no words will come out. It’s never happened, but the possibility makes me shudder.

What do you think makes a good story? It starts with the characters—writing interesting people who readers will want to root for and against. Then comes the plot and finding a fresh creative way to write a mystery.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? It has to be my protagonist Sarah Winston. We both love garage sales and were both military spouses. Fortunately, unlike Sarah, I’ve never stumbled across a dead body.

Why did you pick your particular genre? Growing up my house was filled with mysteries, thrillers, and romantic suspense. Now that I think about it my house is still filled with all three!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? Sarah Winston has ties to the military base which is right next to the town of Ellington, Massachusetts. Part of the action of each book takes place on the military base. It’s a way to give a bit of insight on what it’s like to be a military spouse and also life on a base.

What’s next on the horizon for you? I’m currently writing the first book in a new series—the Chloe Jackson Redneck Riviera mysteries which are set on the beautiful, sandy beaches along the Gulf coast of Florida. Then it is back to writing the ninth book in the Sarah Winston series.

Thank you so much for visiting today, Sherry. I really appreciate it. I am looking forward to your new series and more Sarah! 

Keep reading for my thoughts on The Gun Also Rises.

The Gun Also Rises
(A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
by Sherry Harris


About the Book


The Gun Also Rises (A Sarah W. Garage Sale Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716965
ISBN-13: 978-1496716965
Digital ASIN: B07CWF942Q


A wealthy widow has asked Sarah Winston to sell her massive collection of mysteries through her garage sale business. While sorting through piles of books stashed in the woman’s attic, Sarah is amazed to discover a case of lost Hemingway stories, stolen from a train in Paris back in 1922. How did they end up in Belle Winthrop Granville’s attic in Ellington, Massachusetts, almost one hundred years later?


Before Sarah can get any answers, Belle is assaulted, the case is stolen, a maid is killed, and Sarah herself is dodging bullets. And when rumors spread that Belle has a limited edition of The Sun Also Rises in her house, Sarah is soon mixed up with a mobster, the fanatical League of Literary Treasure Hunters, and a hard-to-read rare book dealer. With someone willing to kill for the Hemingway, Sarah has to race to catch the culprit—or the bell may toll for her . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

History and mystery collide as Sherry Harris gives her spin on the missing papers of Ernest Hemingway lost in 1922. Garage Sale pro Sarah Winston is hired to help get Belle Winthrop Granville book collection ready for sale. As she is cataloging the vast collection she makes a shocking discovery. A case filled with what appears to be Hemingway’s lost manuscripts. Before the papers can be verified they are stolen and Granville’s maid is killed and shots are fired at Sarah.

The events lead to rumors that a rare edition of The Sun Also Rises is also hidden on the premises bringing the League of Literary Treasure Hunters, a rare book dealer, and the press to Ellington, Massachusetts. Sarah is forced out of her home and knows the only way for things to get back to normal is to find the killer before more bodies fall including hers.

This has become one of my favorite cozy mystery series. I love spending time with Sarah as she chases all around town for her garage sales and murder investigations. Her life has been in flux with her divorce, moving off the base, getting her business off the ground and trying to start life over as a single woman. He ex has now left the state so her personal life can move forward with Seth and that made me very happy.

In addition to her huge project for Belle Winthrop Granville and finding a thief and a killer, Sarah is organizing a fundraiser to help a soldier bring a dog he adopted in Afghanistan to the states. He has been suffering PTSD since his last deployment and his friends and family feel bringing this dog home may make things easier. The connection of Sarah to the Air Force Base and the awareness the author brings to military life and strife is a treasured part of all the books in this series. As a military wife herself her depictions are believable.

The characters Ms. Harris brings to life leap off the pages. She gives us people to root for along with the questionable suspects. Sarah and her friends are all engaging and relatable. They have a camaraderie that is refreshing. They always have her back.

I loved the way the author brought Hemingway history into the story. The League of Literary Treasure Hunters were an interesting crew that didn’t give up. They truly took over the town and made Sarah’s life miserable. I really felt bad for her. I loved her unstoppable energy though in her quest to find the papers and the killer. Her perseverance had no bounds.

Sarah Winston is a fantastic protagonist. This story is a wonderful addition to the series. I can’t wait for the next installment. Let’s Fake A Deal will be released July 30.

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About the Author


Agatha Award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Twitter – GoodReads  – Pinterest 

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&NKoboGoogle Play IndieBound

Praise for The Gun Also Rises
(A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery)
by Sherry Harris

Buckle your seatbelt for a humorous and fast-paced romp with Sarah in The Gun Also Rises.
~The Avid Reader

The Gun Also Rises is a fantastic cozy mystery that is full of twists, turns, distractions, and red herrings. There are suspenseful, humorous, and heartbreaking moments that are sure to keep the reader engaged.
~Sapphyria’s Books

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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.”

Dec 152018

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery)
by Debbie De Louise

Welcome, Debbie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a librarian at a public library. I’m married with a teenage daughter and have three cats (two kittens were just added to our home) and a fish.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Before I became a librarian and author, I was a secretary. 2. I’ve lost 65 pounds on Jenny Craig and by exercising daily. 3. I own and manage a pet memorial Center in the virtual world of Second Life.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Although it wasn’t the first book I read, the first book that made a big impression on me was The Winter People by Phyllis Whitney. I was around 11 or 12, and it was a Christmas gift from my older brother. It started my love of gothic romances that lasted throughout my teens in which I devoured books my Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels.

What are you reading now?

I just finished Mitch Albom’s The Next Person you Meet in Heaven, and then I’m starting Christmas at the Cat Café by Melissa Daley for a little holiday reading.

What made you decide you want to write?

I’d always loved reading from a young age and also loved telling stories. My teachers and family encouraged me when I showed a talent for writing. In college, I wrote for the student newspaper and then I joined the Cat Writer’s Association to which I still belong and wrote articles for pet magazines. My first novel was published in 2008. I took a break from writing and then started again in 2015 and now have six published books, a novella, and a dozen or so short stories.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I write at the computer in my living room, but some of the ideas for my writing come to me when I wake up in the morning or when I’m doing other things and are struck with inspiration. I have a notebook where I jot these ideas down to return to later.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Pretty much everywhere – other books (not that I copy anything, but I read a variety of genres and learn a lot from other authors; TV shows and movies; everyday life; my past and present experiences; my imagination).

What books have most inspired you?

As I mentioned above, I was entranced by gothic romances as a teen. I also went through a period of reading cozy mystery series featuring cats by such authors at Carole Nelson Douglas (Midnight Louie); Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie); Shirley Murphy (Joe Grey), etc. I also love to read time-travel tales. Some of my favorite books have included The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; Time and Again by Jack Finney; and The Eight by Katherine Neville.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time to do it. The more I publish, the more I need to promote, and the less time I can devote to writing. It’s a big challenge, and one I know most authors who work full-time share.

What do you think makes a good story?

The plot, of course, but I feel the characters are the most important aspect of any story. Readers need to relate to, empathize, and identify with characters to enjoy a book. I also feel that a few subplots and twists enhance novels, especially if they’re mysteries.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Most of my main characters are like me, especially Alicia, the librarian and author in my Cobble Cove mystery series.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I actually write several genres, but my favorite are my cozy mysteries and my general mysteries. I like them because they’re also the types of books I like to read most. I enjoy creating and solving puzzles and giving “birth” to characters and watching them grow from book to book or from the beginning of the story to the end. I also like staging murders and introducing clues that are not always obvious but can be explained at the end.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I feel my cozy mysteries aren’t traditional in the sense that they are more complex and multi-layered than your usual cozy. There are often serious themes, although they also feature some humor. The first book, A Stone’s Throw, is very much like a romantic suspense novel.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m looking for an agent because I’d like to publish my books in a wider format than eBook and paperback and have them reviewed in popular journals that I, as a librarian, order from at work so that they reach a wider audience. I have two unpublished titles, the first of a new cozy series and a psychological thriller that I’m seeking representation for. I’m also hoping to finish a gothic-type novel that I’m halfway through. Of course, I want to continue my Cobble Cove mysteries with Solstice Publishing who are absolutely wonderful and have been so supportive of my work. My fourth title in that series, Love on the Rocks, was recently released, and some themes introduced in it open the door for future books.

Thank you, Debbie, for stopping by today. 

Keep reading to find out about Debbie’s new book, Love on the Rocks.

About the Book

Love on the Rocks (Cobble Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Solstice Publishing (October 17, 2018)
Paperback: 241 pages
ISBN-10: 1625268505
ISBN-13: 978-1625268501
Digital ASIN: B07JHV9FJC

It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!

When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.

Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect

Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame Defarge for her interest in knitting.

New Cat in Town

While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?

About the Author

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove mystery series: A Stone’s ThrowBetween a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, a standalone mystery thriller, Reason to Die, and a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Anthony; daughter, Holly; and cat Stripey.

Author Links

Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads    Amazon Author Page    Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog    Debbie’s Character’s Chat Facebook Group

Purchase Links: eBook & Kindle Unlimited:

Free Offer from Debbie DeLouise

The characters from Debbie De Louise’s Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone’s Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

It will be free from Thursday, December 13 to Monday, December 17!


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Dec 142018

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

Welcome, Rosalind! 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m hopelessly creative, with a whimsical way of looking at the world, when I’m not looking at the world with a pair of satirical glasses, that is.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Yes, my hair is real; 2) I’m a decades-long vegetarian/mostly vegan; 3) No, I don’t understand why I’m not thin.

What is the first book you remember reading?

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss, and “Put Me in the Zoo,” by Robert Lopshire. In a burst of de-cluttering awhile back, I gave away “Put Me in the Zoo,” and have regretted it ever since.

What are you reading now?

I typically read several books at the same time. The first book I’m reading is the short story collection “Arithmophobia” by Ruschelle Dillion. It’s published by Mystery and Horror LLC, which also published “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.” I’m enjoying the darkly humorous, well-constructed stories in “Arithmophobia” that weave around the theme of numbers. Intriguing stuff.

I’m also re-reading two books I picked up on a whim from the Homer Bookstore: “Tails of a Dogsitter” by Karen Roush, and “Invisible Ink,” an anthology of short stories by Homer authors edited by Joyce Baker Porte. I think these two books have possessed me. By the way, it’s worth going to Homer, Alaska for this bookstore, in my opinion. Homer is an interesting place.

I regularly re-read books that I’ve enjoyed in the past. That’s why I find it so hard to give them away even though I probably should be “de-cluttering” them. I like being surrounded by interesting books.

What made you decide you want to write?

I always assumed I’d be a writer. I liked telling stories and reading stories from as far back as I remember. My Mom was a big influence on me. She was a creative person who did some writing too. She always encouraged my creative pursuits and believed in me. I remember our frequent trips to the library where me and my siblings camped out in the children’s section, while she headed to the biographies, her favorite section. She’d buy us kids plenty of books too, even though we lived on a tight budget (“Put Me in the Zoo,” for example). I was raised with books. Not everyone is, so I’m really lucky to have had a Mom like that.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have my laptop on a table where it fits. I write where I can. I also write long-hand in paper notebooks if I’m out and about. Got tired of lugging my laptop around. Plus, I worry about someone snatching my laptop (and all my writing-in-progress!). There’s not a lot of resale value in used paper notebooks, so less snatching worries there. I do have a fantasy of a dedicated writing office with a sublime view, lots of shelf space for my books, and a couch where I can drowsily dream of new ideas.

Do you write at the same time every day?

No. For me, that’s not practical. I write when I can.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Everywhere. The seed of an idea will come into my head, and then I let my mind wander from there. I usually don’t remember where the original little bit of an idea came from. There are exceptions. For “American Witch,” I vividly remember watering the backyard where I used to live, and it was like the character of George came right up beside me. So, of course, I had to write his story. I’ve never had another character come to me so strongly. “American Witch” probably is the best I’ve written, and I wish it’d gotten a wider readership. But that’s the challenge of self-publishing. It’s tough to promote, which is something I learned from that book. I’m making more of a promotion effort nowadays!

What books have most inspired you?

It’s challenging to narrow my list down, because I read so much and am inspired and impressed by so many books and writers. I may have a different answer tomorrow, but today, here goes: “King Rat” by James Clavell and “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller for their dark satire. Same for “Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe’s writing style amazes me. His words bounce off the page with impertinent glee. I confess I have been known to “borrow” some of his favorite style bits. Douglas Adams and P.J. Wodehouse inspire me for their satire of the lighter variety. The first two “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling are my favorites from the series. “Five Children and It” by Edith Nesbit because it’s slyly subversive. I enjoy older humorous books and short stories, like Robert Benchley’s essay collection, “My Ten Years in a Quandry,” Josephine Dodge Daskam’s short story “A Study in Piracy,” and cozy mystery “The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley. “Ghosts, A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old and New” selected by Marvin Kaye also comes to mind. Douglas Clegg’s books are dark and impossible to put down. Going back to my early reading years, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak influenced me. I desperately wanted to take that boat to the island with the Wild Things. I did rig up a “boat” and hoped I’d have the same result as Max in the book, but no such luck. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Finding the time. That’s the toughest. Not many people understand that a writer needs a lot of time to sit down, create, revise, plus daydream about the concept in the first place. It’s hard to tell a friend I can’t do something over the weekend because that’s the only free weekend I’ve had in awhile and I desperately want to stay in to write. People tend to become upset.

And the promotion. In this day and age, writers also have to be marketers. It eats up precious writing time, and to me, it’s harder than doing the writing itself. The exception is meeting readers in person at book signings. That’s fun. But trying to puzzle out promotion dos and don’ts? Not so fun. Because I write in different genres, my “brand” is elusive, which is a big frowny-face in book marketing. I remain hopeful that readers with a sense of humor will discover my work and be patient that I don’t fit neatly within a brand.

What do you think makes a good story?

Wanting to turn the page and keep going. Also thinking about the book, the characters, the scenes long after I’ve finished reading. Deciding to give the book another read after a couple of years, or couple of months. Third read, then fourth read. I once told another writer that I’d read “Bonfire of the Vanities” twenty times. She didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Tom Wolfe is a word master and I love his sentences!

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I’m in every story I write, sometimes more, sometimes less. For “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” there’s a lot of Sparky in me. Sparky is resourceful, adventurous, but misunderstood, which I think describes me.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve been toying with mysteries for a long time. They’re challenging to write, because they have the puzzle solving element. But that’s what makes mystery writing interesting. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” grew out of my short story “The Monkey’s Ghost,” which appears in the short mystery anthology, “History and Mystery, Oh My!” published by Mystery and Horror LLC in 2015. Some of the characters are the same, though I made Marigold older in “Sparky.” The main characters in “Sparky” are new, except silent screen vamp, Tootsie, who is pulled from another, unpublished short story of mine. That story explains Tootsie’s early, pre-stardom days that are only eluded to in “Sparky.”

Of course, I also write horror and sci-fi, because I enjoy reading them. My novel “American Witch” is dark satire because, again, I enjoy reading satire. I love picture books, which explains why I wrote and illustrated “TV Monster.” Picture books are an art form in their own right. I love to read many types of books, which leads me to write many types!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I don’t think there’s another humorous, noir, 1930s, Los Angeles, Young Adult mystery novel out there besides “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case.”

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently writing book two in the “Sparky of Bunker Hill” series, tentatively titled, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the No Nose Knucklehead.” After that, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Monkey Island Murder.” Sparky bumps into one challenge after another in both books.

In “No Nose Knucklehead,” life gets really real, really fast for Sparky. Bobby, the bum, is out of town with his cozy family so is no help whatsoever. She’s got to handle the mess (it’s a big mess) on her own. And find out who the real cannibal is.

In “Monkey Island Murder,” she goes back to school, which is tough for independent, smarty-pants Sparky. Will any of the other kids ever talk to Sparky? And what’s with the escaped gorilla?

Thank you, Rosalind, for visiting today. 

Keep reading to find out about Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Case Kid


About the Book

Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
Young Adult Mystery
Mystery & Horror, LLC (October 9, 2018)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1949281027
ISBN-13: 978-1949281026
Digital ASIN: B07H49P46T

Lots of characters have it bad, in my Bunker Hill neighborhood smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, but I’ve had it rougher than most.
There may be something to this 13th business.

That’s my birthday, and I’m learning to dread seeing it roll around. My mother died on one birthday. The cousins dumped me on my last. This year, 1932, I found a dead kid on a park bench. It’s my eleventh birthday, and the day me, Sparky, ended up on the run, wanted for murder.

If the dead girl wasn’t enough, the dirty newspapers pinned every body in LA on me, and even blamed me for the Great War. I wasn’t even born then. The price on my head got bigger by the day.

It was up to me to find out who killed the girl and why I got framed, before I ended up dangling from the hangman’s rope.

Praise for Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case
by Rosalind Barden

What a fun, exciting adventure book! . . You just can’t help loving Sparky and her way of thinking and talking.
~Here’s How It Happened

About the Author


Over thirty of Rosalind Barden’s short stories have appeared in print anthologies and webzines, including the U.K.’s acclaimed Whispers of Wickedness. Mystery and Horror, LLC has included her stories in their anthologies History and Mystery, Oh My! (FAPA President’s Book Award Silver Medalist), Mardi Gras Murder, and four of the Strangely Funny series. Ellen Datlow selected her short story “Lion Friend” as a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention after it appeared in Cern Zoo, a British Fantasy Society nominee for best anthology, part of DF Lewis’ award-winning Nemonymous anthology series. TV Monster is her print children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. Her satirical literary novel American Witch is available as an e-book. In addition, her scripts, novel manuscripts, and short fiction have placed in numerous competitions, including the Writers’ Digest Screenplay Competition and the Shriekfast Film Festival. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Discover more at

Author Links
Website Amazon Author Page 

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Dec 132018

A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
by Dianne Ascroft

Welcome, Dianne!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone. I’m Dianne Ascroft. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to Britain more than a quarter of a century ago. I’ve been gradually downsizing from city to town to countryside until I’m now settled on a farm in rural Northern Ireland with my husband and an assortment of strong willed animals. I enjoy the outdoors so when the household chores are completed (my least favourite part of life) and I’m not writing, I go for long walks and also spend time with our pets. For many years, we had a pair of goats as companions until the last one died three years ago. Now our closest companions are a pair of cats. There’s not much difference really: the stubbornness and determination is just in a smaller package.

I wrote historical fiction, often with an Irish connection, for several years before veering off into cozy mysteries. A Timeless Celebration is my first cozy mystery novel and my first book set in my homeland. Writing a story set in Canada has been a nostalgic journey for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.

What are three things most people dont know about you?

For approximately two decades, I played the Scottish bagpipes and loved playing and competing with a pipe band in parades and piping contests in Canada, Northern Ireland and Scotland. I’m the only right-handed person in my family. I’ve never dyed my hair.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Dick and Jane grade school readers. Dr Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham also stands out vividly in my mind.

What are you reading now?

I always have a ‘stack’ of books waiting on my Kindle but the one I’m currently reading is The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley. Every year I pre-order the next book in The Seven Sisters series and eagerly wait for it to be released.

What made you decide you want to write?

I’m an only child and my mother and grandfather were voracious readers so I learned to love reading early. I think it was a natural progression from reading to writing my own stories. I was also a prolific pen pal and, during my teen years, I regaled my penfriends with long accounts of my life in Toronto. The longest letter I ever penned was 64 pages long, written to a friend during the couple of days when I was recuperating after having my wisdom teeth removed.

In my early 30s I moved to Belfast and worked in the university bookshop for several years. Meeting local authors regularly, I began to wonder whether I could also write fiction. So when a short story I submitted to a writing contest on Belfast’s Downtown Radio was selected for broadcast, I was thrilled and this small success encouraged me to pursue my interest in writing. In hindsight, I know that the story needed polishing but it was my first ‘publication’ and I was delighted. Although I never let anyone listen to it, there is a cassette copy of the broadcast still buried somewhere in the bottom of a drawer at home. The story was about a piper experiencing stage fright. Since I wrote that first story I’ve always wanted to bring the pipe band world into my writing again. I did that in a small way in A Timeless Celebration as Lois, the main character, is a piper and is introduced to Fenwater’s pipe band.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

Where I write isn’t a place that would be my first choice – it’s just the place in our house where I can sit and work. I write at the dining room table, often with a cup of tea on the table beside me, and one of our cats draped across my knee (or sitting beside me tapping my leg with her paw). My husband is next door in the living room so, if he misses me, he can pop his head through the doorway to reassure himself that I’m still there. There’s a small window on the wall opposite and a patio door beside me so the room is bright and cheery. But, since they look out onto the side lawn and the farmyard respectively, the view doesn’t distract me – unless, of course, a hare hops through the farmyard and stops to glance around, or a cow escapes from a field and comes wandering over for a nosy at me through the patio door (both have really happened).

Do you write at the same time every day?

I wish I could. I like to write early in the morning. I’m always the first one up each morning so the house is quiet and there’s no distractions, other than the cats clamoring for their breakfast. In this atmosphere it’s easy to gather my thoughts and put them on paper before my mind gets filled with the other tasks that I have to tackle that day. But it’s not always possible to put my fingers to the keyboard before my daily tasks overtake me so often I have to scribble away whenever I get a few minutes. I set word count to meet each day but I don’t manage to write at a set time.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

The ideas for my stories are sparked by incidents that happen to me, random thoughts that cross my mind and bits of trivia that catch my attention. I’ve found inspiration in many different places. My World War II historical fiction series was inspired by the area where I live in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The county has a rich and varied wartime history and, after I moved to the area more than a decade ago and learned about this history, I became fascinated by it. I started rooting in books, original newspapers and personal accounts to learn about the era, and many of the ideas for my stories were sparked by snippets of information I stumbled across during my research.

But the seed that sowed my first cozy mystery was quite different – and took much less research. I don’t know where the idea came from, but one day I suddenly had a quirky idea for where a stolen watch could be hidden. Then I worked back from that idea to decide why the watch was important, where it was stolen from, and how and why my main character, Lois Stone, would search for it and get it back. That one random thought about where it might be possible to hide a stolen item got my imagination working and A Timeless Celebration was born.

What books have most inspired you?

There are loads of books that I could name, but an Irish author Jennifer Johnston’s Shadows On My Skin made a huge impact on me when it was first released in the late 1970s. The author’s ability to breathe life into characters and unveil a story in an understated way, as well as her skilful use of language, are wonderful skills that I aspire to emulate. I also admire Diana Gabaldon’s storytelling skill and her ability to interweave stories that unfold over several books. Both authors have taught me valuable lessons.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Probably the most difficult aspect of the process for me is deciding what the theme of the story is and how the plot has to develop to reflect this. I spend time thinking about a new story and jot down my ideas before I begin to construct the plot. Once I have a list of ideas and information about the characters and the events in the story, I try to pull them together into a coherent plot. The theme then blends into the background but guides the development of the plot. As I pull the plot together, I check to be sure the story flows in a believable way and each character’s actions and the reasons behind them make sense. As I write the story I frequently refer back to my plot outline to be sure it is still on course.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think a story needs to be compelling, one that will matter to the characters and the reader. This doesn’t mean that it has to be a larger than life blockbuster that includes a huge cast of characters and many flashy settings. It can be set in a small place with characters that live relatively ordinary lives. But there must be a significant problem or conflict for them to solve, and events must drive relentlessly forward until the problem or conflict is resolved. As well as the underlying problem or conflict, the characters in the book need to touch readers’ hearts and make readers want to root for them.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

I know that Lois Stone, the main character in A Timeless Celebration, is very like me in many ways. After years of doing detailed historical research for my previous books, I decided that my first cozy mystery wouldn’t involve a huge amount of research. So as I wrote Lois, I deliberately used some of my own likes and dislikes to make her real. That made it very easy for me to bring her to life. Lois and I have had different experiences but there’s more of me in her than in any other character I’ve ever created.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

For the past few years I’ve written Second World War fiction, set in Northern Ireland. Then last summer, I decided to have a change of pace. I had an idea for a mystery series, Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, and I knew a small town in Canada that would be the perfect setting for it. I think that part of the enjoyment of reading a cozy mystery is losing oneself in a pleasing setting. So I fictionalised the small town that I knew as Fenwater and my novel evolved from there. I wanted to create a place that beckons readers to step in and stay a while, and cozy mysteries allow me to explore the place as well as the mystery at the heart of the story.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

I would describe my cozy mystery stories as heartwarming with a hint of history. For me it’s important that the characters and place both appeal to the reader. I usually focus on characters that are people readers might meet and the kinds of places that everyone knows. The world of powerful corporations or the rich and famous isn’t for me. I don’t want to write larger than life places or people – just ones I hope readers will connect with. I want to warm readers’ hearts and put smiles on their faces. My mysteries have tension and drama, but perhaps in a more understated way than some books do.

Also, I guess it goes back to my beginnings as a historical fiction author, but I can’t help throwing historical elements into my stories. In A Timeless Celebration, it’s an artifact from the Titanic that is stolen. And in Out of Options, a novella that is almost ready to release, the story is set in a community divided over whether to continue to uphold their ‘dry’ status almost a century after the town voted to ban the sale of alcohol in the town. The story in Book 2 of the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries will feature a historic quilt as an important part of the plot.

Whats next on the horizon for you?

Since I’m convinced that the real town Fenwater is based on is the perfect place to set a cozy mystery, I want to write more stories set in my fictional version of it. So that’s my plan for the immediate future: to write the second book in the Century Cottage Mysteries series and the next one and the next one…Book 2 should be ready to release next summer or early autumn.

I’m also working on a prequel novella, set in 1983, in the last area of Toronto to still prohibit the sale of alcohol (continuing without a break from the days of Prohibition in the 1930s) to give readers a glimpse into Lois Stone’s life before she moved to Fenwater, and reveal what prompted her move to the small town. The novella, “Out of Options”, will be available this month. All of that will keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

Thank you, Dianne, for visiting today! 

Now let me tell you about Dianne’s A Timeless Celebration.



About the Book

A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published (October 25, 2018)
Print Length: 245 pages

A small town, a big party, a stolen gift. When an artefact from the Titanic is stolen before her town’s 150th anniversary celebration, it’s up to Lois Stone to catch the thief.

Middle-aged widow Lois has moved from bustling Toronto to tranquil Fenwater and is settling into her new life away from the dangers of the city. Then two events happen that shatter her serenity: her house is burgled and an antique watch belonging to a Titanic survivor is stolen from the local museum. Her best friend, Marge, was responsible for the watch’s safekeeping until its official presentation to the museum at the town’s 150th anniversary party, and its disappearance will jeopardise her job and the museum’s future. Lois won’t let her friend take the blame and the consequences for the theft. She’s determined to find the watch in time to save her best friend’s job, the museum’s future and the town’s 150th anniversary celebration.

And so begins a week of new friends, apple and cinnamon muffins, calico cats, midnight intruders, shadowy caprine companions and more than one person with a reason to steal the watch, set against the backdrop of century houses on leafy residential streets, the swirling melodies of bagpipes, a shimmering heat haze and the burble of cool water.

Praise for A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)
by Dianne Ascroft

The first thing I observed about the book was the writing. It is poetic and charming. I loved Ascroft’s storytelling style – unique and precise.
~The Book Decoder

. . . it is a heartwarming delight with really well-developed characters and such a beautiful setting.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies


About the Author

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals.

A Timeless Celebration is the first novel in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series.

Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour.

Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.


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Dec 122018

Special Guests

 Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker
Authors of To Fetch A Thief

I am so happy to have these wonderful authors here today
as part of their Great Escapes Book Tour!

Welcome Ladies!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Heather: Over the years, I’ve been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. I live in Central Virginia with my husband and a pair of crazy Jack Russell terriers. And I’ve been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew.


Jayne: We moved 19 times during his 30-year career, so it was impossible to put down roots. We’re now settled in a cottage by the Chesapeake Bay with our two rescue puppies, Tiller and Scout. I’m a real estate agent by day, and a cozy mystery writer by night.

 Rosemary: I’ve been a huge reader forever. Books really opened up the world to me. I read to my kids as my mother read to me. I even worked in a job where I wrote . . . analytically, that is. Now I write fiction on my own time.

Teresa: I love to write mysteries, go to car shows with my husband, and visit the Outerbanks to write and read good books.   

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

Heather: The first two albums (those things before MP3s, CDs, and cassette tapes) I bought with my own money were a 5th of Beethoven and Shaun Cassidy. I have seen the Monkees in concert three times. I have never seen Billy Idol in concert, and it’s still on my bucket list.

Jayne: I play the piano (mostly classical). I watch Little League World Series every August. I once slept on the street of Ventura Blvd in Los Angeles waiting to get into a taping of the Price is Right. It was a few weeks before Bob Barker retired. Sadly, neither my son nor I got called to “Come on down!”

Rosemary: Three things people don’t know about me are: my house got struck by lightning and burned to where we had one whole floor completely renovated; I’m fifty percent Lithuanian; and my first dog had the unfortunate name “Snoopy.”

Teresa: I come from a large family with many brothers and a sister. We were taught to work hard and make something of our lives.I’ve been an administrative professional since high school and have worked in a long and successful career. I’ve loved reading mysteries and watching mysteries on television since I was a kid.

What is the first book you remember reading?

Heather: Green Eggs and Ham and The Monster at the End of the Book

Jayne: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Rosemary: I remember the book The Parent Trap based on the 1961 Haley Mills movie. Before that, I remember some early Dick and Jane readers.

Teresa: Are You My Mother. It’s a fascinating tale of a little bird who was hatched alone while his mother had gone to look for food. He sets out on a journey to find her. He asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and cow if they are his mother.

What are you reading now?

Heather: John Grisham’s The Reckoning

Jayne:  The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Rosemary: Now I’m reading some of Nevada Barr’s mysteries and some William Tapply mysteries.

Teresa: A wine mystery. Murder Most Fermented by Christine E. Blum.

What made you decide you want to write?

Heather: I have wanted to be a writer since I was in the seventh grade. I loved writing stories and poems. I’ve always loved mysteries, so it was a perfect fit.

Jayne: I read a few bad romances and said “I can write better than that.” Turns out it is MUCH harder than it looks. I soon gave up on the romance-writing career (I just couldn’t keep two desperately in love people apart for 300 pages!) and turned to writing cozy mysteries. It’s so much easier to ramp on the conflict by stumbling over a dead body!

Rosemary: My imagination made me want to write. My mom read to me and my sister, and my dad told great stories—I could so easily picture in my mind what they read and told. Written expression is easier for me than is oral expression, so writing became my medium.

Teresa: I wrote professional articles and loved reading mysteries. So, I combined my love of both and began writing mysteries.

 Do you have a special place you like to write?

Heather: I usually write in my upstairs office. My Jack Russell Terriers each have a bed on either side of my desk. They help me with plotting and dialogue when they’re not napping.

Jayne: I do have a writing room with a “virgin” computer (it doesn’t have a modem so has never connected to the Internet.) It keeps me from getting distracted by Facebook and email.

Rosemary: I like to write at an old desk in my daughter’s old room or outside. I write my raw material longhand.

Teresa: In my bedroom. I have a writing area with a beautiful country view.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Heather: A lot of ideas come from true stories I’ve read in newspapers or magazines. Some come from people watching. I always keep a notebook with me. I jot down ideas when I see or hear them. You never know when they’ll appear in a book.

Jayne: I have always played “what’s the worst that can happen” in my mind as I walk or drive. So I can see a leaf fluttering to the ground and think “now what’s the worst that can happen with a leaf?” (Answer: I can be watching the leaf thinking big thoughts and trip on the sidewalk and fall into the neighbor’s prize rose garden and flatten some bushes just before Secret Garden Tour and my name becomes Mud around the neighborhood. Plus I get all scratched up and have to go to the ER! You can see how this could go on and on and on…) 

Rosemary: My ideas come from what I see on my everyday errands and what I read in the newspaper.

Teresa: Everywhere! Conversations, news, songs, and sometimes plots come to me while I am driving to and from work.

What books have most inspired you?

Heather: There are too many to list. I think I read Charlotte’s Web at least ten times in elementary school. I loved the Nancy Drew stories because she was a teen who had a cool car, great friends, and could solve mysteries before the adults did. My favorite book about writing is Stephen King’s On Writing.

 Jayne: I am not just blowing smoke when I say every book I have ever read has inspired me in some way. Some, because the eloquent turn of the phrase makes me want to make readers pause and take notice; others because the plot is so thin and the characters so flat I challenge myself to be better than that. The short list of authors who have had the biggest influences on my writing are books by Janet Evanovich, Mary Dahiem, and Lillian Jackson Braun.

 Rosemary: In the 1980’s I read Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children Series and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon series, and I was enthralled. In the early 1990’s I read Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Those three series inspired me.

Teresa: Nancy Drew mysteries.

 Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Heather:  The writing is the easy part. The writing life also includes what feels like hundreds of rounds of editing and proofreading. Authors are also responsible for a lot of their marketing and book promotion. And you have to blog, maintain a website, and all your social media sites.

Jayne: It is much easier NOT to write than to sit down and write. Sometimes the biggest challenge is simply getting my rear end in the chair…and keeping it there.

Rosemary: The most challenging aspect of writing is pacing the story. Getting the pace right is hard, and I struggle to keep the story moving because at times my characters get too wordy and introspective.

Teresa: Editing.

What do you think makes a good story?

Heather: I like stories with lots of plot twists. I like clever dialogue and stories where I learn something (event with fiction.

Jayne: Plot twists. When the readers say to themselves, “Wow. I  didn’t see that coming!”

Rosemary: Hmm. I read more and more “how-to” guides and advice about this. I’m warming to the advice that the main character has to mature or evolve in some way, either by dealing with an issue, seeing a different point of view, becoming a better person, etc. In these cases, anyway, there is some problem that needs to be addressed, and the story is how the characters address the problem.

Personally, I’m drawn to the adventure story’s hero’s journey. You know, the journey that starts with the ordinary world, continues with the call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting the mentor, crossing the threshold, test/allies/enemies, approach to the inmost cave, ordeal, reward, the road back, resurrection, and return to the ordinary world a changed person. The best stories fit this archetypal story pattern. I recognize phases of the hero’s journey in mystery stories, although the plotting is necessarily a bit different.

Teresa: Relatable characters, a good location, great plot, and wrapping up all loose ends.

 Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Heather: My private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald and I share a lot of things in common. We are both redheads who like Mustangs, 80s music, and live in Central Virginia. She’s a spunky PI who gets in way more trouble than I do. She’s more like my alter-ego.

Jayne: I will admit to putting a little bit of myself in every character, but the most of me has gone into Ellery Tinsdale in The Blond Leading the Blond and Blond Luck.

Rosemary: My character Olivia Morris in 50 Shades of Cabernet’s “Home Tour Havoc” is most like me. Adam Moreland in “This is Not a Dog Park” has some of my characteristics, too. Like Olivia, I’ve found a sort of peace and regret some decisions from my past. In real life I relish some of those past experiences, however, while Olivia is still hurting from them. Adam Moreland hides from conflict and tends to protect himself from further hurt by walling out people. Hey, I’m right there with Adam on that. Yes, I know that’s not healthy.

Teresa: Strong working women. I write strong female characters who own their own business.

 Why did you pick your particular genre?

Heather: I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. They were gateway mysteries that led to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve had a library card since I was four, so I’ve sampled quite a few mystery authors and subgenres. (Plus, I’m a cop’s kid. Many of our dinner conversations were crime-themed, so it was a natural fit.) I took a mystery and detection fiction class as an undergraduate, and it was the best class I took in college.

Jayne: I’ve always loved mysteries and adventures with female characters, ever since I read my first (of over 100) Nancy Drew stories as a child.

Rosemary: My short stories are different from other mystery stories because I introduce main characters who refuse the call to investigate and seem ill-equipped to investigate anyway—not in the bumbling way, but in the “I don’t want to get involved” way. Perky matrons with time on their hands and their thumbs on the pulse of the community are not my sleuths.

Teresa: Cozy mysteries are easy to read since they do not contain gore, blood, or violence.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Heather: I write where I know. My novels are set in Central Virginia, and all of my short stories are set in Virginia. It’s a great place to live and work, and I want to share it with my readers. I am also a huge fan of popular culture, so you’ll find lots of references in my works.

Jayne: My amateur sleuth is reluctant to solve the crime, and usually has a stronger person behind pushing (or pulling or dragging) her to find the killer.

Rosemary: My stories are mostly in anthologies, and those anthologies differ from other “books” in the mystery genre in that a reader gets to sample the styles and content of various authors in one book. Anthologies are a great way to find your next favorite author. To Fetch a Thief is the first collection of novellas in the Mutt Mysteries series. Readers get to sample the efforts of four mystery authors in this book. The rotating authors in the next several Mutt Mysteries compilations will allow readers access to the works of other mystery authors, so compilations and anthologies are a win-win for authors and readers.

Teresa: My characters and book titles. I love creating relatable characters and fun titles.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Heather: I have a short story, “Art Attack” coming out in Deadly Southern Charms: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology next year. I also have a non-fiction article coming out next year in PromoPhobia. I’m working on a cozy set in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the third Delanie Fitzgerald mystery will be out next year.

Jayne: I’m getting ready to release Goin’ Coastal, a collection of two novellas and two short stories that have two things in common, a coastal setting and a gruesome murder. After that is the much anticipated third Blonds at the Beach book, Blond Luck.

Rosemary: Writing “This is Not a Dog Park” was a challenge for this short story writer since the novella length is three times that of a typical short story. I have a better sense, and a greater respect, for what it takes to write a novel. I can make a better stab at a novel now, but I’ll keep my hand in writing short stories. In the spring see my “Heads or Tails” in the Wittier Than Thou anthology, benefiting the upkeep and operation of the Whittier Birthplace Museum in Massachusetts.

 Teresa: Book two in the Mutt Mysteries series.

Thank you, Heath, Jayne, Rosemary, and Teresa for visiting today.

Keep reading to find out more about To Fetch A Thief. . . 


About the Book

To Fetch A Thief
Cozy Mystery Anthology
Light, humorous, dog-themed mysteries.
Bay Breeze Publishing, LLC (November 8, 2018)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-10: 1732790701
ISBN-13: 978-1732790704
Digital ASIN: B07K97ZYY6

To Fetch a Thief, the first Mutt Mysteries collection, features four novellas that have gone to the dogs. In this howlingly good read, canine companions help their owners solve crimes and right wrongs. These sleuths may be furry and low to the ground, but their keen senses are on high alert when it comes to sniffing out clues and digging up the truth. Make no bones about it, these pup heroes will steal your heart as they conquer ruff villains.

About the Authors


Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sister’s in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Connect with Teresa on Facebook, and Twitter


Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Website and Blog    Pens, Paws, and Claws Website and Blog      Twitter     Facebook     Instagram


Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of the Blonds at the Beach Mysteries, The Blond Leading the Blond, and Blond Luck. She has contributed seven short mysteries to various anthologies to include joining with the other To Fetch a Thief authors in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volumes I and II, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website    Blog


Rosemary Shomaker writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes women’s fiction, paranormal, and mystery short stories, and she’s taking her first steps toward longer fiction, so stay tuned. She’s an urban planner by education, a government policy analyst by trade, and a fiction writer at heart. Rosemary credits Sisters in Crime with developing her craft and applauds the organization’s mission of promoting the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.


Mutt Mysteries Links:

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
December 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST
December 10 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 13 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW
December 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
December 16 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
December 16 – Lori’s Reading Corner – GUEST POST
December 17 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW
December 17 – The Book’s the Thing – GUEST POST
December 18 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
December 18 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
December 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE – DOG TREAT
December 20 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – GUEST POST
December 20 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
December 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 21 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 21 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Dec 082018

NC-17 (Maizie Albright Star Detective)
by Larissa Reinhart

I am so excited to have Larissa Reinhart stop by for a visit today!

Hi Larissa, 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a stay-at-home mom who does book formatting and writes books on the side. I’ve got two teenage girls who really influenced me in writing NC-17, the third Maizie Albright Star Detective book. Maizie is hired by fifteen-year-old YouTube stars to find their missing co-star. I also used to teach high school history, so I love having children in my books. But watching my daughters’ use of YouTube (they watch it more than TV), really influenced my decision to focus the celebrity entertainment part of the mystery on YouTube.

 What are three things most people don’t know about you?

  1. I sing in a church choir. Music is a big part of my life. I was offered a scholarship to study music for college but didn’t want to teach. And ended up teaching history.
  2. I was born with a very mild form of cerebral palsy but wasn’t able to walk normally for until after a lot of physical therapy. Which is probably why I almost failed PE in elementary school. And why I tend to walk on my toes.
  3. Even though I post a lot of pictures of my dog, Biscuit, I grew up with cats. I love cats, but I’m allergic to them!

What is the first book you remember reading?

The Tawny Scrawny Lion. I loved that book! I still have it. Love those Little Golden Books!

What are you reading now?

I’m re-reading my battered paperback of DEAD CERT by Dick Francis. I went to a steeplechase recently. I want to use a steeplechase in a new manuscript and to get some background, I’m going back to Dick Francis. I read many of his books ten years ago or more, so it’s been a while!

What made you decide you want to write?

I’ve always written stories since kindergarten or first grade. I think they’re all stories that I want to work out for myself or to entertain myself. I get an idea and need to write it out.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I have a Danish modern chair we inherited from my husband’s grandparents. They brought it back from Denmark when they were stationed in Europe after WWII. It’s got a footstool and is very comfortable for holding a laptop in my lap and writing. I sit at my desk for the “business” side of writing.

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

It’s very random. Sometimes events or places I’ve visited, like the steeplechase I mentioned earlier. A person will catch my eye. I might hear about a crime.

What books have most inspired you?

Books by Agatha Christie, Elmore Leonard, Jennifer Crusie, and Daphne du Maurier.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Making myself sit for long periods of time. It’s very hard for me!

What do you think makes a good story?

More than a compelling plot, I think interesting characters with a well-developed character arc makes a great story.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Oh boy. None really! They’re all affected by the sins of their parents and I had a pretty happy childhood. But I can put myself in their mindset, so there has to be a little in there, right? For Maizie Albright, it’s probably her optimism and naïveté. For Cherry Tucker, the art, her height, and I grew up in the country, so there’s a little redneck in me. Finley Goodhart’s really hard to call because she grew up on the streets as a teenager. She’s small town, though, so I know that.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

I think it chose me. I wanted to write romantic comedies with a mystery subplot, but I ended up writing mysteries with a romantic comedy subplot!

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

My voice stands out. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. A lot of cozies have humor in them, but something about my voice makes it distinctive. My first critique of Portrait of a Dead Guy was done by an established romance author and she said it was the kind of voice people would either “love or hate.” A good editor helps with that!

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’ve always got many kettles boiling. The steeplechase scene will likely appear in my next Finley Goodhart Crime Caper. I’ve been taking notes on the next Maizie Albright, 18 Caliber, and ideas for another Cherry Tucker. Too many stories to write and too little time!

Thank you so much, Larissa, for stopping by today!

Keep reading to find out about Larissa’s new book, NC-17.

About the Book

NC-17 (Maizie Albright Star Detective)
Cozy Mystery/Women’s Detective Fiction
3rd in Series
Past Perfect Press (December 4, 2018)
Paperback, 370 pages
ISBN13 – 9781732351660
Digital ASIN: B07HFVV7V7


As an ex-star of a hit teen detective show, Maizie Albright gets the youth demographic. Or so she thought. Now that she’s adulting, today’s kids make Maizie feel out of date. At least the youth she meets while doing community service at Black Pine’s exclusive healing resort, the Wellspring Center. When these teens aren’t vlogging their attempts to track down Big Foot, they’re trying to prove the Center is up to no good. Starting with the disappearance and possible murder of their not-as-young commander. A murder the police find as likely as Big Foot.

Maizie has her own suspicions about the new celebrity retreat. Particularly when she learns her ex-fiancé has been hired to run the Center. Kind of an issue when she thought Oliver was in prison. Kind of an issue when Nash, the man of her dreams, is out of commission.

Wait, not man of her dreams.
Boss of her fantasies. Professionally speaking, of course.

While Maizie’s helping adolescent Youtubers detect a disappearance, she’s wrangling her mother’s wedding, assuaging an overzealous probation officer, and struggling to keep Nash Security Solutions solvent. Conspiracy theories collide with real-life catastrophes beginning with murder and possibly ending with Maizie’s life.

Praise for NC-17 (Maizie Albright Star Detective)
by Larissa Reinhart

I love Mazie and her hot mess of everything. She tries so hard to channel inner acting jobs to help her get through everything and when the chips are down.
~Community Bookstop

The entertaining story drew me in instantly and kept me enthralled all the way through. I love the ending.
~Jane Reads

About the Author

Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author, Larissa Reinhart writes humorous mysteries and romantic comedies including the critically acclaimed Maizie Albright Star Detective, Cherry Tucker Mystery, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. Her works have been chosen as book club picks by Woman’s World Magazine and Hot Mystery Reviews.

Larissa’s family and dog, Biscuit, had been living in Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website,, and join her newsletter for a free short story.

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Also by Larissa Reinhart

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December 3 – The Book Diva’s Reads – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT
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December 5 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  
December 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
December 6 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
December 6 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
December 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW*
December 8 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 11 – Varietats – REVIEW
December 11 – Readeropolis – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
December 13 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
December 14 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
December 14 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Dec 052018

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! 

I am so excited to have Kate visit today as part of her Great Escapes Book Tour! 

Welcome, Kate! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I live in the Pacific Northwest and write multiple mystery series. All of my books are set here because I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet and I love getting to share that with readers. I want readers to feel a deep sense of place when they read my books.

What are three things most people don’t know about you? I’m fluent in sign language. I cannot sing to save my life. I’m a total klutz. Not once, but twice I’ve tripped on the sidewalk and broken a bone.

What is the first book you remember reading? Little House on the Prairie. My mom read it out loud to me every night before bed. She ignited my passion for books and reading at a young age.

What are you reading now? Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It’s a wonderful story about overcoming the past and finding a way to let love in. It’s heartbreaking at times, but equally uplifting. I highly recommend it!

What made you decide you want to write?  I wrote my first mystery in second grade, which my parents saved. I wrote poetry, songs, and essays throughout my early childhood and into my college years. I wrote dozens of terrible first drafts of books that will never see the light of day. It wasn’t until much later that I decided to take the plunge into writing mysteries.

Do you have a special place you like to write? I write in my office. I wish that I was the kind of writer who could go to a coffee shop or a bookstore to write, but I need complete focus when I’m writing. I get too distracted people watching anywhere other than my office. Plus, I usually end up walking around and talking to myself or acting out a scene when I’m working on a new manuscript. I might get some strange looks at a coffee shop.

Where do the ideas for your books come from? Everywhere! Honestly, no joke, I have stacks and stacks of scraps of paper, napkins, old receipts, with story ideas from the news, from friends, from listening to strangers on an airplane. Story ideas are everywhere. The issue is finding time to use them all.

What books have most inspired you? Agatha Christie, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden—were all early influences, but I read everything. My dad taught English so he introduced me to Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and all of the classics. I love Ursula Le Guin, Willa Cather, Isak Dinesen. I could go on and on…

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging? Time! I constantly have story ideas and characters tapping at my head. I need more hours in the day.

What do you think makes a good story? Authenticity. Of course, readers will have to suspend some belief when it comes to murder, but I love to read and want to write stories that have depth and real characters who grow and evolve.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you? I think each of my protagonists have a piece of me in them. Touches of my real life experience come through in everything I write, and I’m glad that I get to share that with readers.

Why did you pick your particular genre? I think that mysteries are sometimes under-rated. They’re very cerebral. The reader has the same opportunity as the sleuth to piece together the clues and figure out whodunit. It’s all there on the page, as long as you don’t go astray down a red herring trail. I also think there’s something very satisfying about reading mysteries. In today’s world where everything feels out of control, there’s comfort in knowing that every book will bring closure and justice. Where good triumphs over evil.

What makes your books different from others out there in this genre? My books definitely have a Pacific Northwest slant, and very strong female relationships. Sometimes female relationships end up maligned in books, but I like writing female characters who support one another.

What’s next on the horizon for you? Next up is the release of the 9th book, Live and Let Pie, in my Bakeshop Mysteries that I write as Ellie Alexander, coming in early 2019.

~Thank you, Kate, so much for visiting today.

Violet Tendencies (A Rose City Mystery)
by Kate Dyer-Seeley

About the Book

Violet Tendencies (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496705157
ISBN-13: 978-1496705150
Digital ASIN: B07B73XJJG

Who could object to a flower festival?

Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin are delighted that their Portland floral boutique is part of the city’s Rose Festival, which draws thousands to the Pacific Northwest for dragon boat races, fireworks, and other attractions—capped off by a big parade. They’re building a float that’s sure to rock the judge’s boat . . . until a gang of angry protestors shows up. The group, who call themselves Dark Fusion, are decidedly not into flower power, and they want to take down the system . . . including the upcoming extravaganza.

Then their leader is strangled with a garland of violets—and Britta finds the body. With tensions running high and so much at stake, there are plenty of suspects, from the Grand Marshal to a longtime volunteer to a former Rose Queen. But before Britta and Elin can stem the violence, the case is going to get even more explosive . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have been looking forward to heading back to Portland since I finished Natural Thorn Killers back in April. Britta Johnston and her aunt Elin have the most amazing flower shop and create such spectacular arrangements so having them design a beautiful, shining float for the annual Rose Parade is exciting. So much work with the help of just a few volunteers. But a group of protesters is ready to ruin everything. Dark Fusion, a gang, is determined to take down the system, starting with disrupting the whole event. Organizers are nervous, the police are on high alert, but when the gang’s leader is killed terror rises to a new level. Britta finding the body and her curious nature has her snooping for clues. But hold on tight, the city is going to rock before this killer is brought to justice.

This was a fantastic read. Tension always just below the surface until everything explodes.

I have helped build a few floats in my day and rode on a few too. Nothing ever elaborate as the floats in this story but understood the hard work that goes into making them truly shine. Most of the story takes place in the “float barn” and the author took us inside and her words truly painted a picture of all the happenings. The flowers, the floats, the cut up hands of the workers trying to get everything just right. The craziness and chaos as the deadline for completion draws near and then the chaos of a murder investigation added on top of all that.

Ms. Dyer-Seeley has created very likable characters along with some dastardly ones. Britta has her hands full with the float and making centerpiece arrangements for the big festival dinner, plus she is in the prime position to ask questions and make keen observations. Elin has an old beau in town and she spends most of her time with him rekindling their romance. There are tons of suspects especially the gang members full of violent tendencies. But a former Rose Festival Princess, the Grand Marshall and a couple other festival workers also find their names on the list.

The story takes some great twists and turns. Danger ramps up with fires and explosions. The pace was fast, almost too fast in places. Things were happening so quickly I had to slow down and reread a couple passages to make sure where all the key people ended up and zone it to catch any clues.

The author ties things up very satisfactorily at the end but I almost didn’t want the story to end. I really like Britta and her Aunt Elin and  wasn’t quite ready to say good-bye. I am excited to see what happens next in their lives.

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About the Author


Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

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Praise for Violet Tendencies (A Rose City Mystery)
by Kate Dyer-Seeley

If you don’t love flowers before reading this book you definitely will by the time you are done. We get the loveliest flower descriptions ever in these stories thanks to the love of flowers from the main character Britta who runs a flower shop with her Aunt.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Ms. Dyer-Seeley is one of my absolute favorite writers and Violet Tendencies is a fun, exciting mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
~Moonlight Rendezvous

Lots of good suspects and plenty of suspicious activity make VIOLET TENDENCIES a complex, suspenseful mystery.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

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November 27 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 27 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 28 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 29 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
November 29 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
November 30 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
December 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT, FLOWER TIP SHEET
December 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 3 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
December 4 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
December 6 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
December 6 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW


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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.”

Nov 262018

Author Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a cozy mystery author and have written The Pecan Bayou and Piney Woods Series. I love to write about little towns in Texas.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I used to be an English teacher, but for the last twenty years, I have enjoyed teaching preschoolers music on a part-time basis.

My dad was in the army, but after he retired our family moved to Colorado.

I love to play video games. Stardew Valley is my favorite.

What is the first book you remember reading?

The Bobbsey Twins

What are you reading now?

The Edge of Dreams by Rhys Bowen.

What made you decide to write?
I always wanted to write, but like many people, it was one of those things that I was going to do someday. I didn’t get serious about it until my forties and then I couldn’t read enough about writing. From there, I just enjoyed writing and have done it ever since. Pecan Bayou mystery came out in 2011 that was when I got serious about writing.

Do you have a special place to write?
I write mostly in my office. I have to have quiet when I write. How else will I hear all those voices in my head? I could never write successfully in a coffee shop. Writers are observers, and there are just too many interesting things and people to observe in a place like that.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
I collect news clippings from interesting stories I see. Oh Holy Fright was inspired by a mailman in Italy. That’s all I’ll tell you.

What books have an inspired you most?
I love the book Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg. She inspires me both as a person and as a writer. Every time I finish one of her books I say to my husband, when I grow up, I want to write like that. She beautifully portrays an idealistic view of small town living with a hilarious dose of humor. I know I should have named a mystery writer here but for me the small-town figures prominently in storytelling. My books are not police procedurals. They are normal people you would meet anywhere who are dealing with a crisis.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
When I first started writing, I would get into that middle of the book slump. You have great ideas for the story in the first half and the ending, but in the middle, it’s hard to know how to connect the two pieces. I finally figured out I needed to develop my story more fully through outlining and planning.

What do you think makes a good story?
A story needs to have a mystery that is complex enough of a puzzle to be a challenge, but it also needs to have a heart. That heart comes from the town and the characters and the things they’re going through while the mystery unfolds.

Which of all your characters you think is most like you?
When I first started writing, I would have said, Betsy, the main character and a helpful hints columnist. My life was where she was and still is. Now that I’m older and my children are now adults, I identify with Aunt Maggie. Her son Danny is at home as I have my son Andrew. Danny goes to day habilitation during the day, and so does my son. In the beginning, Aunt Maggie was more, my mother and my aunt.

Why did you pick your particular genre?
Can I answer this with I’m no good at romance writing? It would be the truth. Seriously though, I have always enjoyed a good mystery, and a mystery can exist in anything from a western, to science fiction, to police procedural to what I write- cozies.

What makes your books different from all others out there in this genre?
I think my readers I have come to love my characters like family. Readers ask me if certain characters will have bigger roles in the next book. I also try to make sure there is an act of kindness in every book.

What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have another Piney Woods mystery, A Sneeze to Die For, coming out in January 2019 with Camel Press. This is the second book in my hotel series. A cat convention has come to the Tunie Hotel in Piney Woods, Texas and my main character, Nora, is allergic to cats.

About the Book

Oh Holy Fright (Pecan Bayou Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
8th in Series
Self Published (October 31, 2018)
Number of Pages: 255

It’s Christmas in Pecan Bayou, Texas. Join Betsy (aka The Happy Hinter) for a good old small-town Christmas complete with Christmas carols, over the top light displays, delicious food, loving friends and…a Christmas Creeper. One of the residents of Pecan Bayou has a secret and you’d better lock the door because that isn’t Santa out there or even a stray elf. Enjoy spending Christmas with the town and family you’ve come to know in the Pecan Bayou Series.

Recipes and helpful hints included!

Praise for Oh Holy Fright (Pecan Bayou Mystery)
by Teresa Trent

I enjoyed meeting Betsy, the “Happy Hinter” and her family and friends living in Pecan Bayou.
~Carla Loves To Read

If you want a funny and cute holiday-themed mystery, this is your book! Trust me, you will be as excited as I was to visit this book and series. It is light-hearted, fun and mysterious, just in time for Christmas!
~Bibliophile Reviews

The Pecan Bayou Series brings cozy mysteries in the kind of town where readers wish they could live. Teresa Trent has a gentle writing style to keep her fans turning the pages in delight and intrigue.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

About the Author

Teresa Trent writes humorous cozy mysteries that take place in the small towns of Texas. Her Pecan Bayou series features Betsy, the town’s helpful hints columnist who seems to spend a lot of time getting out blood stains.   Teresa’s Piney Woods Series with Camel Press takes place in an East Texas hotel and features Nora, a redhead with an eye for crime.

Teresa loves to feature other cozy authors and cozy giveaways on her blog.   Join over a thousand people who follow her at

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Nov 132018

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

Author Interview

I am super excited to have Anne stop by today!


  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live on Long Island, in Northport, an old-fashioned looking village on the Long Island Sound. Plum Harbor, in the Black Sheep mysteries, and also, Cape Light in the series I write as Katherine Spencer, are both based on my own hometown. We’ve lived here for about 20 years and before that in Brooklyn.

I grew up on Long Island, but lived in different parts of the country after college and also in the Bahamas. I think moving around and meeting different types of people helped me mature a lot, and also helped me as writer, teaching me that most people share the same hopes and concerns. I’ve been married for almost 30 years to my husband, Spencer and we have one daughter, Kate who is well “launched” and lives in Washington, D.C. We used to have two dogs, but now only have our sweet, funny Lily, a Golden Retriever who is just like Lucy’s Binger’s dog, Tink. I’m a real homebody. I love to cook and work in the garden and I also volunteer a lot in our community, with a winter respite program for the homeless and managing a food program that meets weeks and delivers food to those in need.

  1. What are three things most people dont know about you?

I’m allergic to eggplant, my middle name is Bernadette and at around age 12, I (briefly) played the B-flat tuba.

  1. What is the first book you remember reading?

I recall reading all the Dr. Seuss books early on, but can’t remember one on particular. The first novel I remember taking out of the school library was titled, B is for Betsy, but the story was not memorable. I loved all the books by Beverly Cleary and one of my favorite books of all time is Charlottes Web. It has so much wisdom in it. I had trouble learning how to read in first grade, but once I started I couldn’t stop.

  1. What are you reading now?

I just finished Eleanor Oliphant Is Perfectly Fine.

  1. What made you decide you want to write?

Storytelling came naturally to me. I made up poems and stories before I could write or read, But I didn’t have the confidence or whatever it takes, to jump into writing fiction full time, straight off. I wrote only poetry into my twenties and initially wanted to be a college professor. I went as far as a Master’s Degree in literature, but I was working in publishing while going to graduate school, and I enjoyed editorial work. So I stuck with that instead of going for a Ph. D. I worked at several major houses before jumping to the other side of the desk.

  1. Do you have a special place you like to write?

Absolutely – I have a great little office in our house, and sit surrounded by all my favorite books, and those I’ve written on the shelves, and a lot of encouraging signs, good luck charms and photos. I must write at my own desk, on my own computer and wear earplugs, even though, except for the dog, I’m alone most of the time. But I ponder my work everywhere once I’m in a project, and often get the best ideas and insights when I’m away from my desk — cleaning the house, in the shower, walking the dog etc.

  1. Where do the ideas for your books come from?

I wish I knew! Plots for books grow in mind, like a pot of soup with ingredients being added. Or, like a lot of post-its getting stuck together and somehow, creating a story. Sometimes I notice situations in real life or the news that hold possibilities for a story. Sometimes it’s just an image in my mind, or a character will come to me, and the story grows from their personality and issues in their life.

  1. What books have most inspired you?

Again, that is hard to say. I have a range of favorite authors, such as Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Ann Patchett and for mystery authors, Alexander McCall Smith and Sue Grafton. Discovering a new author that inspires you is always thrilling. I love all of Elizabeth Strout’s work. She’s my newest favorite.

  1. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

After I work out a concept, I like to write a fairly complete outline. That can be challenging because I really dig down, and think through the scenes and situations that will move the train down the tracks. I will depart and get new ideas when I’m actually writing, but it’s important for me to know how I’m going to get from A to B. That’s the real heavy lifting of the process for me. Also, the very start of a book can be slow, until the writing starts to carry you along.

  1. What do you think makes a good story?

Many elements are important for a story that really draws in a reader – a likable or at least, relatable character with a strong, distinct voice. Well drawn supporting characters throughout, and believable motives that are emotion based. In mysteries, the best motives seem to come from love, jealousy or protecting a loved one. Conflict in the story is extremely important and needs to build, and also, hold surprising twists and complications. The ending needs to be logical and satisfying, too. I always like to show that the main character has experienced some “process,” Meaning they are different in some way at the end of the story, compared to how they started out. Maybe they have had an insight about themselves or the world at large or some important realization, and the reader might, too.

  1. Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

It’s tough to choose and depends on a lot on my mood when I answer. I’ve decided that all the characters I write about are a little like me, or reflect some aspect of my personality. When you write, you’re an actor playing many roles.

  1. Why did you pick your particular genre?

I’ve always loved mysteries,  starting with Sherlock Holmes. But it took me a while to crack the code on how to put together a mystery plot that would adequately – most of the time—stump a reader.

  1. What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

The series has no single, amateur sleuth. The knitting group solves the mysteries together and the point of view in each story moves around between the members. I think the friendship among the knitting group characters and their amusing conversation makes this series different from a lot of others, too. Most readers say they love just hanging out with the Black Sheep. Each book is like getting together with a great bunch of women friends.

  1. Whats next on the horizon for you.

I have a few projects on the back burner. One is a more serious mystery set in New York City in 1947 and another is a regular novel. And more Black Sheep mysteries, too. I’m presently working on HOUNDS OF THE BASKET STITCH, which will be published in the fall of 2019.

Thank you, Anne, for visiting today!

Now keep reading to learn about her new book, Purls and Poison

About the Book

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

Praise for Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo

Such a prolific author, such good mysteries! I raced through PURLS AND POISON, not sidetracking to read something else . . . I so admire this strong group friendship, these ladies go all out for each other, sacrificing personal concerns when necessary. Friendship over all!
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

A fun story fit for all ages just like the characters. A knitters delight.
~Books a Plenty Book Reviews

About The Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot,  despite many and much-loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links  

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