New #Cozy with Character Interview and #Giveaway: Chicken Culprit by Vikki Walton

Win the book, a $25 gift card, and the chance to name a character!

Win the book, a $25 gift card, and the chance to name a character!


Finally healing after her heart-breaking divorce, Anne Freemont is ready to put the painful past behind her.Discovering an old Victorian for sale in the small mountain town of Carolan Springs may be just what she needs. The beauty of Colorado beckons, so Anne heads west to start her new life.

Yet, before Anne’s completely settled in, her neighbor is found dead in his compost pile. What’s worse is that Anne’s quirky young neighbor, Kandi Jenkins, could be the killer. When Kandi begs for her help, Anne feels she has no choice but to help the young woman.

However, she finds herself quickly at odds with the local sheriff. And while she uncovers more of the community’s secrets, she’s also exploring her awakening feelings for Sam Powers, the town’s deputy coroner.

Once Anne starts looking at who could be the real killer, the suspect list keeps getting longer and longer. It seems that Carolan Springs is a place of many secrets. But who would want to murder Ralph and who’s willing to kill again to keep their secret?


Interview with Anne’s next-door neighbor, Kandi

Kandi, can you share with our readers a bit about yourself?

Sure! Let’s see, I’ve lived in Carolan Springs pretty much all my life. I’m the oldest of all us kids. So, there’s me and then my twin younger brothers. They’re off backpacking the globe right now. After my dad passed, my mom moved us here to live with my grandpa. We called him Pops. Sadly, he died, like, a few years ago after falling off a ladder. I really miss him. I’m married to Jeff. Umm, no other family. My mom died from cancer. She left me and my brothers a bit of money, but, I don’t really want to talk about her or that part of my life, if it’s okay with you. What else? Oh, I have a new neighbor!

What do you think of your new neighbor, Anne Fremont?

She’s, like, really funny. Opps. She doesn’t like me saying like all the time. But I can’t, like, help it! But I’m getting better. She acts all tough sometimes but I think she’s really not like that at all. Sometimes I think she’s really sad about something. And she can get moody. Oh man, like, really moody. Faith says some of it is due to being a woman and getting older. Not sure I’m looking forward to that. But oh well, whatcha’ gonna do? Right? I do know that Anne has told me that I’m sweet, and smart and a good cook. I don’t think anyone has been as nice to me as Anne has. Even though she’s like, old enough to be my mom, I really like her.

You’re suspected of killing your neighbor, Ralph Rogers. What do you say to those accusations?

Well, it’s the silliest thing ever. I’d never do anything to Mr. Rogers or anyone else. It’s just silly. But I didn’t want him hurting Rusty.

Rusty?

Yes, that’s my Rhode Island Red. She’s the sweetest hen and is a great egg layer. They’re great chickens and I love, like, all my girls. I will stop anyone from hurting them.  Anyway, look at me. Do I look like a killer? On the other hand, they always say it’s, like, who you least expect. (giggle). So maybe I am.

Tell us a bit about where you live.

I live in the most beautiful town (Carolan Springs) in the most beautiful state (Colorado). Winter is so pretty with all the big fat snowflakes. There’s nothing better than, like, grabbing a hot cup of tea and sitting in front of the fire. I have a window right by a nice comfy chair and I love hanging out there. Spring is so nice because the days are warming up and you can go hiking and see all the pretty wildflowers. Summer we have a homesteading fair and it brings in tourists which is nice for our little town. We’ve a town of old-timers with big old houses and lots of entrepreneurs who work online so it helps the town’s economy. Faith–she’s the local herbalist—and I are thinking of making Ralph’s place into a bed and breakfast and teaching classes. So, stay tuned on that. Finally, fall is so nice with the dancing aspens and the colors changing. Crisp mornings are so nice for hikes. Fall is often filled with warm sunny days and cooler evenings so it’s a wonderful time of year. That’s Vikki’s, you know, the author’s favorite time of year. But don’t say I told ya.

You mentioned the author, what can you tell us about her?

Well, she lived a long time in Texas—around the San Antonio area. But just like me, she loves Colorado’s mountains. She also enjoys traveling so I wouldn’t be, like, surprised if she didn’t write something at some point about her travels to England, Europe or Mexico. She’s a house and pet sitter, so who knows, maybe it will be a mystery series around that. She’s also written some nonfiction books. One’s called Work Quilting and it’s a vocational guidance and lifestyle book. The other one is about women’s travel. Of course, she loves everything about being a suburban homesteader or what some call backyard farming. She’s a certified permaculture designer, has chickens and beehives and gardens.

Kandi, can you tell us what’s next for the series?

Well, in Chicken Culprit, it’s about chickens. The next book in the series is about tinctures and herbs. It also has the killer using a particular way to kill someone that I don’t know has been used before in a mystery. If all goes well, the author expects the next book to come out in the fall so get on her mailing list, so you can be the first to learn the title, get a sample chapter and see the cover reveal!


About The Author

Vikki Walton is a suburban homesteader aka the Havensteader. She has chickens, gardens, and bees and is a certified permaculture designer. She’s also the author of nonfiction books. She loves to travel, is a global house and pet sitter and when not out in the garden or hiking in beautiful Colorado, is plotting her next mystery.

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Three Strikes, You’re Dead: A new Eddie Shoes Mystery (with character interview!)

Private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie’s mother Chava wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no?

On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles upon a makeshift campsite and a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable rosary. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man?

Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie’s card-counting mother and mob-connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only Eddie’s memory of the man’s face and a photo of his daughter to go on?


Eddie, welcome back to Island Confidential! Last time we talked, you had a brand-new roommate–your mom. How’s that working out?

Well … here’s something I don’t usually admit to people, but since it’s just the two of us … My mother, Chava, is a big fan of American Idol and The Voice. I would never admit this to her, but I love watching them too. I let her think I only watch them to keep her company. But I love them. I love the challenges and hearing the contestants sing outside their comfort zones. I love the duets and the costumes and the judges’ comments.

Do you think you’ll ever be a contestant?

If I could choose one talent, one gift I wish I had, it would be to sing. I can’t carry the tune to Happy Birthday, so I have to live vicariously through the contestants on those shows. I like to pretend that’s me up there getting one of the judges to turn around.

So no problem, then, living with your mom? 

My mother and I have struggled for years, not that we didn’t love each other, but because we often rubbed each other the wrong way. But now that I’m an adult, she’s only sixteen years older than me, and she’s living with me, we’re doing a whole lot better.

Can you update us on your friend Iz? Last time we spoke, she was working in the Bellingham Police Department with your ex. How’s that working out?

Izabelle is an amazingly patient person. She puts up with my foibles. (Chava has been encouraging me to expand my vocabulary). She understands I’m not always good at talking about my feelings or letting people see me vulnerable. But she’s always there when I need to talk or just hang out. She’s been so good about listening to me complain about Chance. I’m so confused about our relationship, or if we even have a relationship, and she’s wonderful about letting me talk about it without trying to tell me what to do.

Where would you like things to go with you and Chance?

I want to be in a romantic relationship with him.

Fair enough. How does he feel about it?

He’s conflicted! Hopefully that will change soon … for the better.

How are you and your author, Elena, getting along these days?

She’s a bit of a worrier. You should see all the rewriting she does. Rewrite after rewrite after rewrite. It gets a little tedious to have to go through the same scene over and over and over again. And she’s never quite sure what she’s doing at the beginning of a new book, so I might get to the end and find out, we have to do the whole thing over again because she got something really important wrong … like who committed the murder! But I will say, I like her sense of humor a lot. And I know she loves me. So that’s a pretty great combination.

What’s next for you? 

I am currently involved in a brand new homicide investigation. I have no idea how it’s going to come out, that writer of mine is just winging it right now. I’ll let you know as soon as I can!


CREDIT MARK PERLSTEIN

About The Author

After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Keep up with Elena

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Pawprints and Predicaments: Author Interview with Bethany Blake

Win 1 Set of the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mysteries and some swag! U.S. ONLY


The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .

It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!


Interview with Bethany Blake

Bethany, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist Daphne?

Daphne Templeton holds a doctorate in philosophy, but she’s content working as a pet sitter in the quaint town of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania. She loves to travel, but she’s increasingly setting down roots in her hometown. She drives an unreliable VW bus, bakes for pets and people, and solves crimes with her basset hound sidekick, Socrates.

Would you get along with Daphne if you met her in real life?

I would love Daphne, because she has a big heart. She’s hugely loyal to her family and friends, and she loves life.

Are you and Daphne anything alike? 

We are similar in that I also hold a doctorate that I’ve never used, and I once owned a small pet sitting business. I’m also kind of disorganized. But I’m a worrier, while Daphne charges through life pretty fearlessly.

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

Yes! Daphne starts out being very reckless and irresponsible. Maybe too reckless and irresponsible. As the series continues, she becomes more thoughtful and sets down roots. On the flipside, Detective Jonathan Black is initially very rigid and protective of his emotions and his past. As he and Daphne battle to solve crimes, he learns to loosen up, and he slowly reveals the truth about his time as a Navy SEAL—and the secret that compelled him to leave the military.

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

Sylvan Creek is based very closely on my hometown of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. I lived in the apartment that Daphne’s best friend, Moxie Bloom, “occupies” in the novel, and there’s a park with creek that rambles past a gazebo. Those are just a few of the similarities. But I’ve added a lot of fun things to Sylvan Creek, like some amazing restaurants that don’t actually exist in Lewisburg.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

Keri Russell has Daphne’s curly hair and quirky vibe. I honestly can’t pick an actor to play Jonathan Black. No one quite has the mix of intensity and humor. I am open to suggestions!

What’s the best and worst advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

The best advice I received was to join groups like Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. They provide information, support and opportunities for networking. I don’t know that I’ve ever received truly bad advice. My network of friends and family have always encouraged me to keep going. As long as you have that, I think you’re okay.

 


About the author


Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

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New Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery: Pawprints and Predicaments by Bethany Blake

 

The Tail Waggin’ Winterfest is the highlight of the season in the famously pet-friendly Pocono Mountains town of Sylvan Creek. But despite attractions like an ice sculpture display, a dogsled race, and gourmet hot chocolate, Daphne Templeton finds herself annoyed by TV producer Lauren Savidge, who’s filming the festivities. She’s critical, controlling, and as chilly as the January air. Daphne would like to tell her to go jump in a lake—and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what they’re both going to do . . .

It’s the first-ever polar bear plunge in Lake Wallapawakee, and Daphne and Lauren are among the eighty or so people who charge into the frigid water to raise funds for animals in need. Daphne makes it back to shore—with the help of a mysterious St. Bernard—but Lauren is dragged out stone cold dead. Now, with her trusty basset hound Socrates at her side, Daphne intends to assist Detective Jonathan Black in his investigation—whether he wants her to or not . . .

Includes recipes for homemade pet treats!


About The Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

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New Country Store Mystery by Maddie Day with Character Interview: Biscuits and Slashed Browns

Enter to win a print copy

Enter to win a print copy of Biscuits


For country-store owner Robbie Jordan, the National Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet escape from late-winter in South Lick, Indiana—until murder saps the life out of the celebration . . .As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?


Character Interview: Robbie Jordan

Robbie, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers something about yourself? 
First let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to chat here! Well, I’m Robbie Jordan and I’m pleased to meet you all. I’m in my late twenties, and the owner and head chef at Pans ‘N Pancakes, my country store restaurant. Did you know I am a California girl? I’ve lived in southern Indiana for almost five years now, but I confess to missing the beaches of Santa Barbara and the smell of orange blossoms in the air in the winter. On the other hand, I’ve made a home for myself in small town South Lick and my country store has become a community gathering place, which was my dream for it.

Who’s your favorite other character in Biscuits and Slashed Browns? 
I love hanging out with my Aunt Adele. She’s over seventy and going strong. She’s opinionated, competent, and caring. She lives on her sheep farm, but was formerly the mayor of South Lick and the fire chief before that. And can she ever bake bread!

Anyone you don’t get along with so well?
I’ve had my share of conflicts with state police detective Oscar Thompson. He doesn’t like the fact that sometimes I’ve figured out who the murderer is before he has. He’s good at his job but isn’t much of a people person. But we’re starting to work out our differences.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Maddie/Edith? She loves writing fiction, I’ll say that much for her. She’s at her desk writing by seven in the morning six days a week. She’s a pretty good cook, too, and loves gardening in the summer. She’d never be able to keep up with me on a bicycle, though – she says she doesn’t like riding uphill.

Robbie, what’s next for you?
I’m excited to be finishing my new bed and breakfast rooms upstairs, and that my father and his wife will be visiting from Italy in June! They’ll be my first guests, and my author says you can read about what happens in Death Over Easy, which will be out in late July.


About The Author

Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.

As Edith Maxwell, she write the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).

You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at http://www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every week day with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.

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Vangie Vale and the Strangled Strudel (The Matchbaker Mysteries) by NYT Bestseller R.L. Syme

One autographed book set


You could call it the straw that broke the camel’s back but it was more like a Montana forest timber. Just when Vangie Vale’s life was getting back to normal after a murder that rocked her little Rocky Mountain tourist town, she found herself in the middle of another murder… as the chief suspect.

Vangie stood shocked on the side of the curb as the sheriff stretched yellow crime scene tape around the front of her new bakery. Wouldn’t this make a lovely headline in next week’s paper: Local Baker Kills Parishioner With Pudding. Vangie’s road back to good graces as a part-time pastor was bumpy enough already. This would be a roadblock. Can’t have that.

Book Three in a cozy culinary mystery series from USA Today Bestselling Author, R.L. Syme.


Character Interview with Sheriff Malcom Dean

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

I’m the Sheriff in Twin Valley County, Montana, and I have a son named Chandler. I don’t live with Chandler’s mother anymore. We’ve been divorced for awhile, and it was…a trial. Something readers might not guess about me: I’m not a sports fan. I’ll watch hockey if I have to. But I’m not much for sports.

Who is your favorite character in Strangled Strudel?

Can I say “myself”? Because that’s probably the most accurate. Everyone annoys me on some level. If people would follow the rules and do what they’re supposed to do, we’d get along better. I don’t like rule-breakers.

Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well?

It would be too easy to say “Vangie”, because I think that’s what this question is insinuating. That somehow, Vangie and I are destined for conflict. Who knows. Maybe you’re right. But I would actually say “Derek”. I don’t like that guy. He’s a rule-breaker. Always looking for a way to get around the law.

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

Becca? I think she’s nosy. And she creates a lot of trouble. And talk about rule-breakers. In fact, can I change my answer to the last question? The author is a character in the world, too. I might have to pick her. She’s the source of all these troubles in my town.

Sheriff, what’s next for you?

Hopefully, no more murders. Let’s count on that.


About The Author

Rebecca Syme writes small town romance as Becca Boyd and cozy mystery as R.L. Syme. She is a long-time foodie and loves fancy cheese. Becca calls the mountains of Montana her home and draws inspiration from the beautiful vistas and heartwarming people. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Line of Fire series of sweet romances and part of the Chick Tales series set in Somewhere, TX. You can find her on Twitter talking #fancycheese or #Chopped, and on Facebook with her fans in Becca Nation.


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New Swiss Cozy: A Well-Timed Murder (Agnes Luthi Mysteries) by Tracee de Hahn

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Swiss-American police officer Agnes Lüthi is on leave in Lausanne, Switzerland, recovering from injuries she sustained in her last case, when an old colleague invites her to the world’s premier watch and jewelry trade show at the grand Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Little does Agnes know, another friend of hers, Julien Vallotton, is at the same trade show—and he’s looking for Agnes.

 

Julien Vallotton was friends with Guy Chavanon, a master of one of Switzerland’s oldest arts: watchmaking. Chavanon died a week ago, and his daughter doesn’t believe his death was accidental. Shortly before he died, Chavanon boasted that he’d discovered a new technique that would revolutionize the watchmaking industry, and she believes he may have been killed for it. Reluctantly, Agnes agrees to investigate his death. But the world of Swiss watchmaking is guarded and secretive, and before she realizes it, Agnes may be walking straight into the path of a killer.


About the Author

Tracee de Hahn is the author of the Agnes Lüthi mysteries, which were inspired by her years living in Switzerland. Prior to writing full time she practiced architecture and was head of university alumni relations at a major west coast university. Currently, she and her Swiss-architect husband live in southwest Virginia with their Jack Russell Terriers. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America.

 

Website https://traceedehahn.com/

Twitter @LuthiMysteries

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Pinterest The Agnes Lüthi Mysteries

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The Phantom of Oz (An Ivy Meadows Mystery) by Cindy Brown

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Win an electronic copy


Creepy munchkins. A mysterious phantom. And a real Wicked Witch. Are you ready for it?

Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows has been hired to uncover the cause of the creepy accidents that plague the roadshow The Wizard: A Space OZpera and find out who dropped a chandelier on the Wicked Witch of the East.

Was it the ghost who haunts the Grand Phoenician Theatre? A “wicked witch” in the cast? Or is it someone—or something—more sinister?

It’s Ivy’s most personal case so far.

Her best friend Candy, who’s touring with the show, is caught in a downward spiral of self-destruction, and is in more danger than she knows.

To save her friend and the show, Ivy must answer even tougher questions: Do spirits really exist? What is real beauty? What does friendship mean?

Ivy needs to learn the answers, and fast—before Candy reaches the point of no return.

Earlier Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2)
OLIVER TWISTED (#3)
IVY GET YOUR GUN (#4)


Author interview: Cindy Brown

Cindy, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little about your protagonist, Ivy? 

Ivy Meadows is an actress who works part-time in her Uncle Bob’s detective agency in order to pay the bills. She’s slightly goofy but determined, a misfit with a knack for getting herself into—and ultimately out of—trouble. She’s becoming a good PI for the same reason she’s a good actor: She has a high E.Q. (emotional quotient), which gives her empathy and insight into others’ situations and motivations. Ivy Meadows is her stage name: her real name is Olive Ziegwart (her dad used to tell her that Ziegwart meant victory nipple. She’s not sure how that was supposed to make her feel better).

Are you and Ivy at all alike? 

There’s more than a little of me in Ivy. I was an actor for years, I love detective novels and cop shows, and I can be slightly silly at times.

If you met her in real life, what would that be like? 

I’d definitely like Ivy, though I might be frustrated if I wanted to be her close friend. She’s been gun shy about relationships ever since being emotionally abandoned by her parents after her brother’s accident

Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

Definitely. Ivy has a character arc in each book and throughout the series. Actually, she has three arcs: She develops as an actor, she becomes a better detective, and she grows as a person, becoming smarter, more down-to-earth, and more open to love.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?

No. I can’t think about real people when I’m writing. I can’t even name a character after someone I know well. That said, real people’s mannerisms, habits, and speech patterns do work their way into my subconscious and onto the page.

How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

My settings are definitely based on real places, but I fictionalize those places. For example, Sunnydale in The Sound of Murder is based on the retirement community of Sun City West, and the Grand Phoenician Theatre in The Phantom of Oz is based on Phoenix’s Orpheum Theatre.

Why not just use the actual locations?

I like to mash up the real and the fictional settings so I can add fun elements (like the haunted spring in the basement of the theater in Phantom), but also because I would feel bad killing people in real places.

When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

I can completely see Zooey Deschanel as Ivy (did you know Zooey’s really a blonde?); John Goodman would make an awesome Uncle Bob; and Josh Groban could be a lovably nerdy but crush-worthy Matt (though I’d have to give him a song because…that voice. Sigh.)

What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?

Hmm. I’m not sure I’ve ever had bad advice, because I think I take in what I need at the moment and ignore anything that doesn’t fit. The best advice probably boils down to three ideas:

  1. Be yourself, and write what you want to write. Don’t worry about what others are writing, or what they’ll think of your writing.
  2. Don’t worry so much. Your subconscious will write a lot of the story for you.
    And maybe the most important piece of advice:
  3. Don’t stop. Just keep going.

About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

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First in a new cozy series: Murder of a Good Man by Teresa Trent

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When Nora Alexander drives into Piney Woods, Texas, to fulfill her dying mother’s last wish, she has no idea what awaits her. First she is run off the road, then the sealed letter she delivers turns out to be a scathing rebuke to the town’s most beloved citizen and favored candidate for Piney Woods Pioneer: Adam Brockwell. Next thing you know, Adam has been murdered in a nasty knife attack.

Suspicion instantly falls on Nora, one of the last people to see him alive. After all, everyone in Piney Woods loved him. Or did they? Nora learns that her mother had a complicated past she never shared with her daughter. Told not to leave town by Tuck the flirty sheriff, Nora finds a job with Tuck’s Aunt Marty trying to get the rundown Tunie Hotel back in the black. The old hotel was Piney Woods’ heart and soul in its heyday as an oil boomtown. Now the secrets it harbors may be the key to getting Nora off the hook. She’s going to need to solve the mystery quickly to avoid arrest, or worse: becoming the killer’s next victim.


Character Interview: Nora Alexander

Nora, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?  

My name is Nora Alexander and I have recently lost my mother. Upon her death I found a letter she had written to a man in Piney Woods, Texas. Texas? Really? Anyway, I took off for a state I had never been to and tracked this man down. From what I could figure, it must have been a love letter, because why else would it concern my mother in her final days?

Who’s your favorite character in Murder of a Good Man?

Luckily, when I hit town, I found a room at the Piney Woods Bed and Breakfast and met Tatty and Ed Tovar. They are the owners of the B&B and Tatty has a wonderful gift of smoothing things over.  Having Tatty and her husband Ed around has provided a home away from home for me.

Anyone you’re not so fond of?

 Tuck Watson is the law around this town and he is determined to arrest me. For what, I can’t tell you right now, but the man is infuriating, and handsome, but infuriating!

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

So, she writes my scenes and then rewrites them and then rewrites them again. Some days I feel like I’m on a loop that can’t stop repeating. I guess I like the scene better when she’s finished, but gee whiz, some days I want her to just give it a rest!

What’s next for you? 

Well, I have some big changes in this book,  and I can’t tell you too much without giving it away…but…it has a lot to do with cats.

 


Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer.  She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

Author Links

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/teresatrentmysterywriter

TWITTER:   https://twitter.com/ttrent_cozymys

BLOG:   https://teresatrent.wordpress.com/

WEBSITE:   http://teresatrent.com

 


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A New Down South Cafe Mystery and character interview from Gayle Leeson: Honey-Baked Homicide

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The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . .

It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning.

As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation…


Character Interview:

Amy Flowers from Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Leeson

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

Well, I guess it’s that I’m a real girly-girl, but I have a tomboy side too. I love dressing up, hanging out in my “fancy room” (I transformed my mom’s old room into a girly paradise), and wearing makeup. But somedays, I’d just as soon not bother with the frills and go play softball, or hike, or climb a tree.

Which character in Honey Baked Homicide do you get along with the best?

I get along well with all my family. I mean, I adore my mom. Aunt Bess is a hoot—she keeps us all on our toes. But, I think my best friend is my cousin Jackie. We’ve always been more like sisters than cousins, and we work side by side every day.

Anyone you have a conflict with?

I have a little bit of a problem with Sheriff Billings. I get the idea he doesn’t approve of my dating his deputy—Ryan Hall—and that he doesn’t entirely trust me. I mean, yeah, there have been a couple of deaths on my property—I mean, the first one was before I even owned the place. And I had nothing to do with those! Still, the man likes my cooking, and I believe I might be starting to win him over.

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

She’s sitting here beside me whispering, “Tell them I’m great! Tell them you like me!” So…yeah… she’s great and I like her. But it certainly doesn’t take much to distract her. I do wish I could block her Internet, especially during work hours. She goes to look up a word and comes back half an hour later. Or she needs to research something “real quick” and she doesn’t get back to writing until the next day. What is up with that? If I did my customers that way, I’d run myself out of business in a hurry!

Amy, what’s next for you?

Well, the holidays are right around the corner, so I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of baking. But, I might need to put some mistletoe over the door jamb for when a certain handsome young deputy pays me a visit. 😉


About The Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com

Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books-a-Million – Kobo  


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