Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited to have Kate visit today as part of her Great Escapes Book Tour!
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)
2nd in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
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 . . .
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.
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
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.
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 28 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 29 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
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November 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
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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.”