New suspense and character interview: A Game of Deceit by K. A. Davis

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A father’s disappearance never solved, a mother’s secret taken to the grave, a daughter deceived…
Kathryn Landry thinks her life is just about perfect. She is the owner of a successful interior designer business in Newport Beach, California, and she has an attentive, supportive husband. But her world comes crashing down when her husband, Neil Landry, vanishes without a trace… in a situation almost identical to the disappearance of her father twenty years before.

With her father’s disappearance still a mystery, Kathryn is skeptical that the detective assigned to her case will be able to find her husband. Determined to uncover the truth, Kathryn is plunged into a world of politics, high-priced call girls and wealth. As she begins to search for her husband, a decades-old secret her mother took to the grave threatens to destroy all she holds dear. Caught up in a web of betrayals and deceit, and not knowing who to trust, Kathryn must find a way to survive as she discovers the past has a way of repeating itself.


Character interview: Kathryn Landry

Kathryn, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about  yourself? 

I didn’t have the best teenage years after my father disappeared when I was fourteen. I felt pretty lucky when I met my future husband, Neil, in college. He was strong and I was happy to let him take care of me. Once we graduated, I found my passion and started up an interior design company in Newport Beach but let him take control of all the decisions. Once he disappeared, I was lost when it came to how the business side of my company was ran. And then all sorts of terrible things started happening to me, like my apartment being broken into, someone forced me off the road which landed me in the emergency room, and then someone tried to abduct me. Never in a million years would I have thought I could handle traumas like this but I’ve found that I’m a much stronger person than I realized.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

My assistant, Marianne Patton. She’s a grandmotherly sort, taking strays like me under her wing. I envision my own grandmothers, whom I never had the chance to meet, as being women like Marianne. Marianne also likes to bake and cook and always has food to share with friends. I try to ignore my sweet tooth but it’s pretty hard when she is passing around her delectable treats.

I understand there’s one person you don’t get along with so well.

Detective Mike Williams. I was warned about him after he was assigned to my husband’s disappearance case. He’s a bit chauvinistic and inclined to blame me for my husband leaving instead of doing his job and finding the truth. We seem to butt heads often and I don’t like that he yells at me on occasion. Some people might say I deserve it but I think there are better ways to communicate displeasure.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Kim Davis?

I’d be a lot happier with her if she spent as much time with me as she did with her friends on Facebook! I mean, come ‘on… how many of those people have had their father and their husband disappear without a trace? Instead she relegates me to the dark files of her computer for months, if not years on end. I’ll cut her some slack though, on the amount of time she spends with her granddaughters, Jaidyn and Emory. I’d ignore me too if I had sweet little girls to dote on.

What’s next for you? 

I think I have a chance at finding my happily-ever-after but once again my author is relegating me to the dark recess of her mind. She says there’s a wannabe cupcake baker caught up in the murder of her best friend that needs some help. I’m not giving up though, my story isn’t finished and I have a couple secrets I haven’t shared with her yet.


About The Author

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband, near wildfire country. During the Portola Hills fire in October 2007, she had to evacuate her two young granddaughters, one of whom has Rett Syndrome, as a wall of one hundred foot flames crept towards their home. Thankfully, due to the brave efforts of firefighters, their neighborhood was spared and no loss of life or property occurred. She was able to use that experience to write a harrowing scene in A Game of Deceit.

She writes the Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder blog and has had several children’s articles published in Cricket, Nature Friend, Skipping Stones, and the Seed of Truth magazines. Kim Davis is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

 

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New Quilting Mystery and character interview: Knot What You Think

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The newest member of Martha’s close-knit quilting circle has an eye for couture. But when the designer’s fingerprints are found blanketing a crime scene, Martha must prove that he didn’t have a hand in homicide!

Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle’s dead body, especially when evidence suggests a fellow quilter committed the crime. Set on clearing her pal, Martha searches for answers—but with ties to a convicted fraudster’s stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim’s past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up—and living to baste another square—will be trickier than she ever imagined . . .


Character Interview with Yossi Levy

Aloha Yossi, and thank you for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

YL: My name is Yossi Levy, but my friends all call me Crusher. I got that name because of some undercover work I did in the ATF. A paramilitary group was planning to blow up the Federal building on Wilshire Boulevard in LA. They used a construction company as cover. Anyway, I managed to infiltrate. My job was to operate a big machine that crushed rocks into gravel, and the name stuck.

I met my girlfriend Martha Rose while I was running an op out of a bike shop in Reseda, posing as the leader of the Valley Eagles biker gang.  We were after some local skells selling stolen military ordinance to terrorists overseas. We were so dark, even the LAPD didn’t know who we were.

A civilian who was doing some technical work for us got accused of murder. Martha was his neighbor. That’s how I met her.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

YL: You know, I’d like to say Martha, but the truth is, she’s hard to pin down. I want to get married, but she’s afraid to commit. The guy I really like is her Uncle Isaac. He’s an 80-year-old scholar.

I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home in New York, and although I’m not strictly observant anymore, I still keep a lot of the traditions.  I didn’t go to public school. I studied in a private Yeshiva. That’s a school which focuses on learning Jewish sacred texts. I loved that stuff. Now I look forward to discussions with Isaac when we celebrate the Sabbath together.

Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

YL: Are you kidding? Beavers! LAPD Detective Arlo Beavers. He was Martha’s boyfriend when I first met her. Then he cheated on her. That’s when I saw my chance and took it. The dude still comes sniffing around, hoping to win her back. But I can’t blame him. Martha is one sassy woman; smart and sexy.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

YL: Mary Marks? She’s one spunky old gal. She didn’t publish her first book until she was 70 years old. Now she’s 74 and publishing her fifth murder mystery. One word for her is eccentric. She used to have gray hair. Now it’s turquoise and purple. She also pierced her nostril. And, I hear she plans to go skydiving on her 75th birthday.

What’s next for you?

Well, I’m staying in the ATF for now. And I really want to get married. I’ll just have to wait until Martha is convinced I won’t abandon her. Isaac is helping me with that. 


About the Author

Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program.

Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at www.nyjournalofbooks.com.

Readers can visit her at www.marymarksmysteries.com and https://www.facebook.com/mmarks2013

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New Cat Cafe Mystery: Cat About Town by Cate Conte

The first novel in a frisky new mystery series set in a small New England town, where an unlikely citizen is called in to solve the purrfect crime. . .

Maddie James has arrived in Daybreak Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts, eager to settle down and start her own business—and maybe even fall in love. When a stray orange tabby pounces into her life, she’s inspired to open a cat café. But little does Maddie know that she’s in for something a lot more catastrophic when her new furry companion finds the dead body of the town bully. Now all eyes are on Maddie: Who is this crazy cat-whisperer lady who’s come to town? If pet-hair-maintenance and crime-fighting weren’t keeping her busy enough, Maddie now has not one but two eligible bachelors who think she’s the cat’s pajamas . . . and will do anything to win her heart. But how can she even think about happily-ever-after while a killer remains on the loose—and on her path?


Maddie, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 

Thanks for having me! I’m Maddie James, and I’ve just returned to Daybreak Island, where I grew up. My grandma just died, and my grandpa Leo needs me. But that’s nothing new – my family thinks I’m their own personal Dear Abby. You readers may pick this up as you start reading the series, but they all really love it when I solve their problems. Even when I was out west, it was inevitable – once a week I’d get a call from someone with a crisis to handle or problem to solve. Like the time my dad needed talking points written for an event he was attending and his assistant couldn’t do it. Then my sister Sam called me from the hairdresser’s chair once to ask me how many inches she should get cut off her hair! I mean, seriously. I’m not sure what any of them would do if I got hit by a bus.

Which character do you get along with the best?

Aside from JJ the stray cat I picked up? My best friend Becky. We’ve known each other since we were kids, when I was a burgeoning entrepreneur and she was dreaming of being editor of the Daybreak Island Chronicle. We stayed friends throughout my travels west, and now that we’ve both reached our goals and I’m back in town, we’re just picking up where we left off. She’s my voice of logic, my sounding board—and my main source of news, both on and off the record.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

Officer Craig Tomlin, my high school boyfriend. It’s an interesting conflict—neither of us will admit it’s really a conflict! First he’s in the uncomfortable position of having to interview my grandpa – his former boss! – in a murder. To make it worse, I think he’s thinking we can rekindle our romance. I’m not sure I want that, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s kind of a dilemma.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

Ha! Love this. She needs to write faster! I have so many more stories to tell and adventures to have. And she needs to stop procrastinating too. I’ve heard that’s her worst habit…

What’s next for you?

I’ve got to get the cat cafe up and running! That’s if I decide to stay on the island…Keep reading, though. I assure you JJ and I will have plenty more adventures to tell you about.


About The Author

Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.

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New Hamptons Murder Mystery: Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle

Like a basket of warm cinnamon buns, an unsolved crime is something that Hamptons innkeeper and sleuth Antonia Bingham just can’t resist. Despite a busy high-season schedule and an inn booked to capacity, Antonia has agreed to investigate a cold case in her beloved adopted hometown, East Hampton, NY: the killing of Susie Whitaker, whose brutal 1990 slaying on a tennis court in the poshest part of town was never solved. And the person who has hired Antonia? Prime suspect Pauline Framingham, a manipulative pharmaceutical heiress from a powerful family. The crime scene is compromised, the circumstances are complicated, and former witnesses are cagey, haunted and very reluctant to revisit what happened on that sun-splashed afternoon decades earlier. As Antonia attempts to unravel the mysteries of the past she unearths even darker secrets and ultimately wonders if it would have been best to let sleeping dogs lie. To make matters worse, past acquaintances and love interests reappear in the Hamptons, disrupting Antonia’s world and causing her to scurry to the fridge for comfort.

Death on West End Road is the third book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. Along with a colorful cast of supporting characters, the beating heart of the book is Antonia Bingham, restaurateur, gourmand, and nosy carb-lover.

Praise for Death on Windmill Way by Carrie Doyle:
“Doyle is an enthusiastic guide for Long Island’s East End village…fun and satisfying”
–Kirkus Reviews

“…a fast-paced, cozy mystery story set within the well-heeled confines of East Hampton, New York…[it] will keep audiences guessing right up until the end…”
–Foreword reviews


Island Confidential: Antonia, welcome back to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself that we might not know?

Antonia Bingham: Despite the fact that I am chatty and love to engage with people I actually can be quite secretive. I think the readers would be shocked to know that I am planning a trip. Pretty soon I will be heading back to California and I will confront my past. It’s time that I come face to face with my fears and ensure that my ex-husband will never harm me again or anyone else for that matter. No one who knows me would imagine that I am planning this, and if they knew they would surely stop me. That’s why no one can know.

Are you and Joseph Fowler still on good terms? Does he have any competition in the BFF department?

AB: Joseph Fowler, the acclaimed author of many award winning historical novels is my best friend and really like a father to me. I am so lucky I have him in my life. But recently, believe it or not, Larry Lipper, the annoying crime reporter from The East Hampton Star, has been instrumental to me. Now I definitely do not want to say we get along best—he’s irritating, vain, narcissistic and believes every woman is in love with him. But actually, I was recently asked to solve a cold case and it was Larry who was my wingman. He helped me more than I could imagine.

Now that you and Larry seem to have declared a truce, is there any other character do you have a conflict with? 

AB: I have a one-sided imaginary conflict with Melanie Wells, a famous actress and the wife of Nick Darrow, the famous actor. The truth is, I have a giant crush on him and wish she were not around. I know that’s terrible, terrible! But they have such a toxic relationship to begin with that it makes me angry. I despise how she treats him. Okay, of course I only know his side of things. But still. Look, I know I am no competition to a gorgeous movie star, but a girl can dream, right?

Last time we spoke, your told me your author, Carrie Doyle, was procrastinating. But now it sounds like she’s been working hard and might want to take a little time for herself!

AB: I think that like me, she spent too much time in the kitchen this year and needs to get out and enjoy the sun! East Hampton is beautiful so I would encourage her to take a bike ride or go for a swim in the ocean. There is so much to see and do away from the desk and the computer and summer is so short!

What’s next for you?

AB: A mysterious man has booked the inn for a weekend and several guests will be joining him. They are all addressed by pseudonyms. It all sounds very creepy and dramatic but I am looking forward to it!


About the Author:

 

Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

 

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New Paranormal Cozy Cat Mystery from Vicki Vass: Bloodline

>>> Enter to win a coffee mug and a print copy of the book <<<

Fleeing from the witch trials in Salem, Terra Rowan finds herself in modern day Asheville, North Carolina.

A dark spirit from the past hunts this last witch of Salem. With the help of the ladies of the Biltmore Society, Terra must discover the secret within the forest to preserve the bloodline.


Thank you so much, Frankie, for inviting me. My name is Terra Rowan, I am the heroine of Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery.

Island Confidential: Welcome, Terra! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

TR: I’m not as confident as I appear. I’ve had glimpses of my future, and it scares me.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

TR: I have a kinship with Abigail and a great love for Mrs. Twiggs but to narrow it down to one if I have to, it would have to be Pixel. He is a gentle soul who takes pleasure in the simple things. He’s brave and a faithful friend and will not waver in dire straits.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

TR: That would be Tracker. My first instinct is to avoid creatures of his ilk but there is a strength in him that I admire.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

TR: I think that she understands my world. She knows the hard work and research to earn my trust. She struggles with forming the perfect words to tell my tale but that makes her even more endearing. I believe the true measure of a person is in the effort not the result.

What’s next for you?

TR: To continue the journey that was set forth in Bloodline, my companions at my side.


About the Author:

With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

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New Series (Big Lake Murder Mysteries) and Character Interview: Dumpster Dying

>>> Enter to win a book AND YOUR NAME in the next Emily Rhodes mystery! <<<

Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster.

Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They’re more like pot metal to Emily, who discovers the body of the county’s wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner’s death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer.


Toby, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 

Toby Sands: My name is Toby Sands, and I’m a detective with the local police department, but I’m treated like dog doo doo by my fellow officers. Only my captain is any kind of friend, and that’s because we go way back to the police academy where we first met. I did well there–

I’m sorry, it says here you barely passed? Um, never mind. Go ahead.

TS: Yea, anyway, when I graduated, I took a job in Miami where I ran into a bit of trouble. It was all a big misunderstanding on the part of my partner who told my boss I was pocketing money from local merchants. My partner, a woman wouldn’t ya know, said I was claiming to give businesses special protection in high crime areas if they slipped me some cash under the table.

The real story is that a lot of businesses were grateful to me when I warned off gang members and other bad dudes and showed their appreciation by giving me a “tip”, especially if I let them know I could close them down for some legal infractions on their part. I mean, pay at that time was lousy. Everyone knew it, so these friendly folks wanted to show their appreciation for my going out of my way for them. My durn partner also claimed I showed excessive violence when I “talked” to guys we encountered on the street. She said they was just standing there. I said I could tell they was thinking of doing some illegal. That’s why women shouldn’t be cops. They are so bad at reading criminal minds. Anyway, I was encouraged to move on. In return, my record in Miami remains spotless, as well it should cuz I was innocent. Durn femiNazi partner! Luckily, my old classmate from the academy understood how it was, and he hired me.

Someone told us you were hired by your old classmate because the city was desperate to fill a vacancy and you were available. The same source claimed that you got down on your knees and begged, then rolled around on the floor blubbering and crying until you were finally taken on with a warning to behave. Is there any truth to that?

TS: Who told you that?

It’s not important. Let’s move on to something more positive. Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

TS: Well, like I said, my captain gave me a break when I needed it, but he’s coming around to share others’ views of me. It’s totally unfair, and it’s only because everyone is jealous of how quickly I get things done.

I see here that your collars occur in record time.

TS: Darn straight.

How many of those have resulted in convictions? Uh, never mind. You were talking about your colleagues?

TS: So I can’t really say I like too many people. I’ve got a cop’s mindset and that means I can see larceny in a person. I kinda favor some of the bigwig lawyers in town who ask me to do jobs for them. They know how to get around severely restrictive laws and they pay nicely for my help. In a recent event where I took an early retirement, I drew the line at excessive violence. I’m now doing some work for the county as an undercover informant.  [Interviewer’s note: Toby couldn’t be convicted of murder in this case due to lack of evidence.]

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

TS: Like I said, I’m not real crazy about women who stick their noses into other people’s business whether that be another cop who tattles on me or that snoopy little bartender Emily Rhodes who’s sweet on my partner here in rural Florida, Detective Stanton Lewis. See, I know wimmin are best suited to the kitchen or the bedroom. She gives him too many ideas about what I should or shouldn’t be doing with my time. If I’ve been working hard on a case, why shouldn’t I enjoy the afternoon in the bar or a siesta in my cruiser in the shade of a palm tree. This is rural Florida and it’s hot here. A working man needs a drink and a nap to get through this heat and humidity. But I almost got her back for all her snooping. She’d be a white slave in some African country if she hadn’t sicced that wild pig on me. Like to scare me half to death. I still shake thinking about it.

What..? Why don’t we move on to the next question. Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

TS: Just another uppity woman who thinks she knows more ’ bout right and wrong than I do, me, Toby Sands who’s been in the crime business for years.

Yes, everyone I’ve spoken to agrees you’ve been in the crime business since you graduated from the academy.

TS: I don’t need no Yankee school teacher telling me when and where I can chew a wad or where I can spit it or nothin’ about how a man should treat his wife. Okay, so I did help kidnap that Rhodes’ woman’s daughter for her husband, but she’d sassed him and no man needs a wife like that. She needed to be taught a lesson, and I was the one who could teach her one—for the right amount of money.

So what’s next for you?

TS: The court says I got to do some time, but I guarantee you I’ll be out sooner than you can spit a wad in an alligator’s eye. No sir. Toby Sands can work the system. I’ll be living the good life soon. Meantime, if you can believe it, the man is free on bail.
It just ain’t fair. No one appreciates me.

[Note: there are so many charges against Toby that it may take the legal system some time to sort them all out.]


About The Author

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.

 

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New Cozy Series: Bed and Breakfast and Murder by Patti Larsen (with character interview!)

>>> Enter to win the first three e-books in the series! <<<

I tried not to look down the mouth of hell staring back at me from inside the glaringly pristine outer ceramic shell of the white throne, my throat catching, stomach doing half flips and a rather impressive rollover routine that would have gotten at least a 9.5 even from the Russian judges. Instead, I forced myself to smile and swallow and remind myself the elbow length yellow rubber gloves grasping the handle of the standard issue plunger were all that stood between me and Pooageddon.Suck it up, Fee. Big girl panties and adulting and all that.

bedandbreakfastandmurder

“At what point,” I waved the dripping plunger, wincing as droplets of yuck flew, “did I think owning a bed and breakfast was going to be glamorous and romantic?”

Fiona Fleming hasn’t lived in Reading, Vermont in over a decade, her escape from small town living leading her to New York City and a life of adventure. An adventure that has left her with no career, an ex who cheated on her and zero plans for the future. Her grandmother’s death grants her a new chance–inheriting Petunia’s, Iris Fleming’s bed and breakfast, seems like the ideal fresh start. But when Fee finds out ownership of the property Iris willed her might be in question, she’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of the cutest town in America after being singled out as the main suspect in a murder.


Fiona Fleming, welcome to Island Confidential! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

FF: You like putting people on the spot, don’t you? Well, the red hair gives away my temper, so I can’t choose that. And wanting to be a cop my whole life despite my sheriff father’s disagreement, that’s hardly a secret. Neither is the fact my boyfriend of five years cheated on me, the jerk.

How about this: I was never a fan of dogs. Or pets in general for that matter. Too messy and busy and cluttered, you know? All that fur and snorting, farting, slobber. Footprints in mud in places they didn’t belong. Snoring.

Mind you, I always liked my Grandmother Iris’s previous pugs, to a point. But taking on Petunia’s, her B&B, while also adopting her latest pug of the same name? That took some getting used to. We’re still talking about who’s the boss in our relationship.

I think I’m losing.

Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

FF: Hands down, my best friend, Daisy. Even though I was gone for ten years, never expected to move back home to Reading, the second I showed up again she was at my door, hugging me with that kind of genuine enthusiasm that means the person isn’t pretending, you know?

Daisy hasn’t changed one bit. Still gorgeous, still kind and overly excitable, still trying to find her way. I can’t believe how much I missed her and I’m just glad to have her in my life again.

Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

FF: Well, if you must bring it up… I’m big girl panties enough to admit Vivian French hasn’t lost her ability to push me over the brink. She has that kind of small-town, big fish in a tiny pond attitude that drives me nuts—part of the reason I left Reading in the first place. She’s the embodiment of all the arrogance and disdain and jealous backbiting I can’t stand to deal with ever.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

FF: I’m a bit bossy, okay? You get that? I have this kind of control freak side to me that makes it a bit hard to tell me not to do something. I blame the red hair. And being raised by a school principal and a county sheriff. But Patti, she listens. Does what I tell her to do, the way I want it done. So we get along. And she laughs in the right places, cries when prompted. Gets bouncy excited when I tell her things that make the series tie together. So I guess I’ll keep her.

What’s next for you?

We launched book two, Chocolate Hearts and Murder, on Valentine’s Day. That was fun! But at the moment we’re working on book three, Fame and Fortune and Murder, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I originally told Patti there were twelve books in my cozy series, then upped it to thirteen because, well. Can’t tell you. But there’s a great reason. Anyway, now I’m thinking I’m kind of liking this whole thing a little too much. So we’ll see if I stop at thirteen after all…


About The Author

Patti Larsen is an award-winning author with a passion for the voices in her head. Now with over 80 titles in happy publication, she lives on the East coast with her patient husband and multitude of pets.

Keep up with Patti

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New Pecan Bayou Mystery and Character Interview: Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick from Till Dirt Do Us Part

Not everything stays buried.

When Betsy, a notorious brown thumb gets roped into a gardening contest sponsored by the Pecan Bayou Gazette, she finds herself digging up more than weeds. She is ridiculed by the garden club ladies, and now her heart breaks for a newly single mom whose world has just collapsed. The Happy Hinter is back so take some time to revisit the cozy little town Pecan Bayou, Texas. Grab a glass of sweet tea before you turn the dirt in the garden and sit a spell with all your favorite characters who dole out heartfelt caring and compassion with a side of humor. Till Dirt Do Us Part includes bonus recipes and helpful hints from Betsy’s column!


Island Confidential: Betsy, welcome! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? 

Betsy Livingston: My name is Betsy Livingston, well Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, now. My husband is a meteorologist and when we married he and I both had a boy so what did we do? We had a daughter! I write the Happy Hinter Column for the Pecan Bayou Gazette and give advice and helpful hints.  Somehow though, my life is a lot more involved than getting a stain out or clearing a drain. I’ve stumbled over bodies in a haunted hospital, in a swarm of bees, in the library, by a cowboy fountain and I was even chased by a killer in a hurricane… while in labor. That was a rough day.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?

BL: That would probably be my aunt Maggie. She has always filled in as a mother for me. She is a wonderful person to sit down with and talk out the world’s troubles.  She has a son with Down Syndrome who feels more like a brother than a cousin to me. She isn’t perfect, though, and spends her share of time down at The Best Little Hairhouse in Texas gossiping with Ruby Green, but Ruby is better source of information than the Gazette some days.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

BL: In Till Dirt Do Us Part I’m competing in a gardening contest, and I’m finding some of those gardeners have thorns. Watch out for old Enid in the book. She’s a prickly pear, for sure.

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?  She’s come a long way with story building and here’s a big secret—she cries when she writes the final scene in every book.

What’s next for you?

BL: Well, I’ll be trying to stay out of trouble. My body count is pretty high these days, but you never know. You can read my column The Happy Hinter in the Pecan Bayou Gazette and I even have a Pinterest Board now. Stop by my author’s website and say hello. She’d love to hear from you.


About The Author  

Teresa Trent writes her Pecan Bayou Mystery Series from Houston, Texas. With a father in the army, her family moved often finally settling in Colorado. Living in Texas for the last 18 years she loves the people and even the weather. Teresa includes Danny, a character with Down Syndrome in her Pecan Bayou family and in real life is the mother of an adult son with Down Syndrome/PDD. Creating the character of Danny and all of the other inhabitants of Pecan Bayou has been a joy for her. Even though she lives in the big city, her writing is influenced by all of the interesting people she finds in small towns and the sense of family that is woven through them all.

 

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New Pet Mystery with Giveaway and Character Interview: Custom Baked Murder by Liz Mugavero

>>>Get a print copy of Custom Baked Murder<<<

Kristan “Stan” Connor gladly turned tail on her high-flying job and moved to a quaint New England town to sell organic pet treats. But with her nose for solving murders, there’s no such thing as a quiet life…

Summer is winding down in Frog Ledge, Connecticut, but Stan’s love life and career are both heating up nicely. In between planning her new pet patisserie and café, Stan is settling into living-in-bliss with sexy pub owner Jake McGee. Love’s on the menu for Stan’s mom, Patricia, too, who’s engaged to Frog Ledge’s mayor, Tony Falco.

Mayor Falco’s dogged ambition isn’t popular among locals, but it’s his executive coach, Eleanor Chang, who’s inspired a dangerous grudge. When Eleanor is found dead, there’s a whole pack of suspects to choose from. Stan has first-hand experience of Eleanor’s unsavory business tactics. But finding out who forced her to take a fatal plunge off the corporate ladder means unearthing some shady secrets…and a killer who’s too close for comfort.

Includes Gourmet Pet Food Recipes!


Q: Stan, thanks for dropping by Island Confidential! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Stan Connor: Hi readers! Thanks for stopping by the blog today to get to know me a bit better. I’m Stan Connor, and I live in Frog Ledge, Connecticut. My life was pretty normal until I moved here and started stumbling over dead bodies way too often. But you guys already know that. So, something you might not guess? Well, how about this – I had serious confidence issues until I moved here and found my real purpose in life. Yep, it’s true. Despite the fact that I was a corporate big shot, I had no confidence in myself as a person – it was all about who I was with the suit on. I moved here and learned that yes, I can create new relationships, a new business, and basically an entire new life from scratch and be a much happier person for doing it. It’s been a wonderful lesson.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

SC: Oh, that’s a tough one! It’s a toss up between my amazing boyfriend Jake McGee and my lovely friend Izzy Sweet. Jake is simply everything I always wanted in a man but never thought I’d find. He’s kind, funny, attentive, dependable, loyal, and sexy as all get out. And Izzy? She was my first friend here. She’s definitely unique. I met her and felt like I’ve known her for years and could tell her absolutely anything. She listens, she’s not intrusive, and she always gives good advice. Plus, she’s in charge of the town’s best coffee and sweets – of course we get along!

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

SC: I think everyone who’s been reading knows that Trooper Jessie Pasquale and I have butted heads a few (hundred) times. She doesn’t approve of my penchant for dead people, and she definitely doesn’t approve of me butting in to help figure out who killed them! At the beginning of our relationship we really struggled with each other. It didn’t help that she’s Jake’s sister. But over time, we’ve…come to an understanding. I mean, we still like to duke it out (figuratively, of course) for the sake of it, but we’ve developed a mutual respect for each other. Although the bickering has become fun, I must admit.

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?

SC: My author…well, you promise you won’t tell? She makes me nervous sometimes when we have a deadline and she’s procrastinating! I mean, we have an important story to tell here. This is my life, you know? And sometimes she just wants to watch Gilmore Girls and ignore me. I admit I’m a bit neurotic when we’re in the middle of a mystery, but I just want to make sure everything turns out okay in the end. And that we don’t miss our deadline!

Q: Stan, what’s next for you?

SC: We – my author and me – are working on book six in the series now. It’s a Christmas mystery, and unfortunately Santa ends up dead in his sleigh as he rides up to light the Frog Ledge Christmas tree. As if that’s not enough, there’s a case of mistaken identity, a missing crazy uncle, and a little international intrigue we all have to figure out. It’s going to be a fun ride – if that author of mine ever gets it written!

Thanks for having me! xo, Stan


About the Author

Liz Mugavero has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. Before that, she would tell them to anyone who would listen (not many at the time). After deciding early on she would write books for a living, she practiced by writing bad, angst-filled poems, short stories and even a storyline for a soap opera–all by age 15. She never wavered from her goals despite all the usual questions including, “So are you going to be an English teacher with that degree in English?” or, “That writing thing sounds nice, but how are you REALLY going to make a living?”

She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.

Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.

 

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New Cozy, Character Interview, and #Giveaway: Death on Lily Pond Lane by Carrie Doyle

>>>Win a paperback copy of Death on Windmill Way (Book 1) and Death on Lily Pond Lane (Book 2)<<<

Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and….murder?

Innkeeper Antonia Bingham has hit her stride as the proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn. After solving a series of murders, Antonia has taken on more work as an estate manager, giving her entree her into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. As the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia—a modern day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life—to put her skills of deduction to use. Nestle in with a steaming mug of your favorite tea and get ready to peek behind the gates of the mansions of the Hamptons, as Antonia Bingham solves another shocking and devastating murder.


Q: Antonia, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

AB: Although I am exceedingly unfit and possess no discernible athletic prowess I actually ran track in high school, albeit briefly. I think I was pretty good at it for those fleeting years, but then I got shin splits and chucked my racing career (not after lots of daydreams imagining myself running marathons and winning Olympic medals.)

I also have a terrible singing voice, which also held me back on a possible career. Once I was on an airplane with my parents when I was about ten, and we sat next to the casting director of the Broadway Musical “Annie.” She said I would make a terrific orphan (for some reason my mother was offended by that.) I was dying to audition, but the problem was, I can’t sing at all. I’m totally tone-deaf. It was a non-starter.

Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? 

AB: I was fortunate enough to meet the lovely Joseph Fowler, a renowned author of historical fiction, a few years ago. Joseph and I both came into one another’s lives when we were in need of a good friend. I had recently moved to East Hampton and purchased The Windmill Inn and had opened a restaurant. I was wallowing in self-doubt and felt like I was sinking. Joseph was among my first customers at the restaurant. He was recently widowed and was getting used to life on his own. Needless to say, both of our lives had changed dramatically and we needed emotional support and friendship. Joseph is a tremendous cheerleader of mine and has become something of a father figure for me. (The fact that he reminds me so much of my late father also helps!) He is a true gentleman in a world where there are not many gentlemen. He loves my cooking, which always pleases me. He is also a great sounding board and has become something of a partner in crime (crime-stopping, really), assisting me in solving all of the murders that keep popping up around town.

Q:  Which other character do you have a conflict with? 

AB: Larry Lipper and I have a love-hate relationship. He has an incredible ability to fluster me and get on my nerves. Larry is conceited and smug and always inappropriate.  I am constantly amazed at how full of himself he is, and how certain that others feel the same. He is my sparring partner and I usually cannot stand to be in the same room as him. That said, we always sort of end up doing things together. I think because he is the crime reporter for The East Hampton Star and I happen to keep solving crimes. I will concede that at times he is helpful and there is wisdom there. But I would never ever tell him that.

Q:  Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author, Carrie Doyle?

AB: I think she should stop procrastinating and hop back to work on the third installment of “The Hampton Murder Mystery Series.” I get to solve a cold case, and it’s very interesting because she’s diving back in time to East Hampton twenty-three years ago and there is a lot she had forgotten about that era. I think it’s really interesting how much information she has about ‘The Hamptons’ and I like that she is telling readers about what it is really like, all-year-round and not just in the summertime.

Q: What’s next for you?

AB: I will continue to run the inn and the restaurant. My idol, Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) lives right around the corner from my inn and I am dying to have her stop by for dinner. And maybe I could have a cameo on her cooking show? That would be my ultimate dream come true!


About the Author:

 

Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

 

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