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

>>> Enter to win a beach bag and three print books in the series <<<

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 Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery: Dead Air and Double Dares

>>> Enter to win a copy of Dead Air and Double Dares (U.S. Only) <<<

Crystal Cropper, editor of the Elmwood Gazette, has added incentive in finding out who killed Horace Q. Ogilvie, owner of the local radio station and the most reviled man in town. Horace turns up dead minutes before he is supposed to broadcast his next malicious editorial, designed to destroy yet another Elmwood luminary.

Fortunately for the police department, Horace’s list of future targets provides an abundant pool of suspects. Unfortunately for Crystal, her name is at the top!


Guest post from Janis Thornton: Butt-Bustin’, Bloomin’ Boomers

 

Imagine my delight when I read this paragraph in the first email from the new editor assigned to give my book a final scrub:

 

“I am currently at work on the proofreading of Dead Air & Double Dares. While hunting for misplaced commas and odd spacing, I have been enjoying Crystal’s adventures. I need your help on something. I had my assistant Olivia read DA&DD before I set to work. I told her very little about the book so I could get a fresh read. Olivia found herself quite far into the novel before she realized that Crystal was in her sixties. She assumed our sleuth was in her thirties.”

 

I had to read it again. Olivia assumed my sixty-plus-year-old protagonist was in her thirties! I wrote back my editor praising her assistant’s presumption.

 

I enjoyed hearing about Olivia’s surprise finding out Crystal is over 60. What she experienced is exactly what I’m trying to convey through Crystal’s character — that just because someone is well into their “golden years” doesn’t mean they can’t be as vibrant and relevant and youthful as they were in their 30s and 40s.

 

Part of the fun of writing a novel is creating characters that channel the author’s views and attitudes. Take my protagonist, Crystal Cropper, for example. Crystal is very much like me. I confess, she embodies many of the life experiences that make me who I am: We’re both only-children … we’ve both been editors at small-town newspapers … we’re single, independent, fun loving, and domestically challenged. And although we’re well into our sixties, we both blow our pretty, blonde stacks every time someone dares suggest or treats us like we’re “old ladies.”

While we are proud to be children of the era of skinny Elvis, saddle shoes, and poodle skirts … do not expect us to behave like “old ladies.”

Crystal is a Baby Boomer, but she has no use for society’s long-accepted expectation that she behave in a manner traditionally associated with being older. She lives her life on her own terms, as a woman who’s tireless, culturally current, curious, relevant, and bold. She will not be dismissed, diminished, disregarded, or declared irrelevant simply because there are silver roots at the bottom of her blonde curls.

Crystal’s self-proclaimed mission is to gather support for a long-overdue, age-based demographic: Butt-Bustin’, Bloomin’ Boomers.

Not getting the picture? Then picture this: Meryl Streep. Sally Field. Condoleezza Rice. Helen Mirren. Kathy Bates. Oprah Winfrey. Hillary Clinton. All are relevant, high-energy, resourceful, independent, confidant, accomplished Boomers. They’re all well into their third act, living with the same positive attitude, lust and gusto they exhibited at half their age.

I beg my Boomer-aged friends to reject the long-standing, stereotypical definition of them as gerontologically impaired. I also encourage them to hold up their past as a telephoto lens and focus it on their potential. And their future.

I hope as you read “Dead Air & Double Dares,” Book 2 in the Elmwood Confidential series, you will find a kinship with Crystal Cropper. She’s not old. She’s better than ever — a Butt-Bustin’ Bloomin’ Boomer through and through. I hope my readers — regardless of their generational identity — connect with her. Those who have yet to reach their sixth decade of life are in for an exciting awakening. That classic advertising slogan, “I’m not getting old … I’m getting better,” has never been more relevant. It’s true for Crystal and me, and it should be true for women at every age and stage of life.

So here’s to Olivia … mission accomplished! Thank you for seeing Crystal for the woman she is and not the woman you expected. Crystal Cropper may have lived sixty years, but she is ageless!


About the Author:

 

Janis Thornton is a writer, personal historian, and journalist. She is the author of two local history books, “Images of America: Tipton County” and “Images of America: Frankfort”; and contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2” (page 189!). “Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies” is her debut novel (a cozy mystery), released in October 2014. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. A 2009 MWW Fellow, she also was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier contest that year. Her newspaper feature stories have been recognized by Women in Communications (Lafayette, Indiana chapter), Smiles Unlimited, and the Hoosier State Press Association. She lives in Indiana. You may contact/follow/like her at http://www.janis-thornton.com, Twitter (@JanisThornton), and Facebook (facebook.com/janis.thorntonauthor).

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Who is your favorite fictional professor?

The Chronicle of Higher Education wants to know: Who is your favorite fictional professor?

Fictional characters exhibit some of the distinct qualities — whether weird, malicious, or magical — of real-life instructors. So we want to know: Who is your favorite fictional professor?

To respond, fill out this form. The Chronicle of Higher Education plans to share the responses in future coverage.


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A new Blossom Valley Mystery: Marriage is Pure Murder by Staci McLaughlin

>>>Enter to win a paper copy of Marriage Is Pure Murder by Staci McLaughlin (U.S. Only)<<<

Wedding bells are ringing at the O’Connell Organic Farm and Spa in California’s postcard-perfect Blossom Valley. The entire staff is pitching in to send one of their own down the aisle. But no one knew the nuptials could turn up so many secrets—or that marriage and murder could go hand in hand . . .

Dana Lewis is marrying Jason Forrester, a talented reporter and the love of her life. She couldn’t dream of a better venue than the farm where she works, and her friends are determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Even her florist, Bethany Lancaster, is making sure she has just the right flowers. But Dana’s happiness wilts when she finds Bethany shot dead—and discovers her friend was a busybody with a blackmail list longer than a cathedral veil. With so many enemies, finding Bethany’s killer seems all but impossible. And when Dana herself is eyed as a suspect, she’ll have to chase down the culprit faster than she can say, “I do”—or she’ll be trading in her wedding dress for prison stripes.


Island Confidential: Staci, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little about your protagonist, Dana Lewis?

Staci McLaughlin:  Dana is in her late twenties and living on her own when she is unexpectedly laid off from her marketing job in the San Francisco Bay Area. She finds herself moving back to the small Northern California town where she grew up. Now she has to put her life back together and rethink her career while living with her mom and annoying younger sister.

How much of you is in Dana?  How would you feel about her if you met her in real life?

SM:  Dana is a lot like me. We share the same core values and interests. She tries her best, even when she doesn’t always succeed, and values her family. I think Dana and I would have a lot of fun together, especially since we both love junk food!

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

SM:  Yes, definitely. Dana starts out a little uncertain about where her life is headed in the first book, but in each progressive book she starts to gain confidence in both her career and her personal life. Similarly, her younger sister Ashlee, who is an absolute brat in the first book, matures somewhat as the books progress.

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

A:  Not yet! I’ve heard of writers doing that, but I can’t think of anyone I have ever been so mad at that I would wish them dead, either on the page or in real life.

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

SM: Blossom Valley is a fictional town, but it is loosely based on Ukiah, a real town in Northern California where I grew up. The population of Blossom Valley is considerably smaller, and the town more closely resembles the Ukiah of my childhood rather than today, but it has the same atmosphere and kinds of people. One thing I like about using a fictional place is the flexibility. I can create a new business at the spur of the moment if needed or add other features that are important to the plot.
When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

SM: I love how you say, “when”! I think Jennifer Lawrence would be a good pick for Dana, since Dana is mostly practical but can also be a bit goofy. Ryan Reynolds would be great as Dana’s love interest, Jason.

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

SM: The best advice I have ever received was to just keep writing. Like anything, the more you practice, the better you get. When I make sure to write every day, it’s much easier to get into the proper mindset and come up with ideas. If I don’t write for a week or longer, it can take me a day or two to get back into the rhythm.

I guess the worst advice would be to write what you know. If I were to stick to only what I know, it would be a very short book! Plus, one of the fun aspects of writing is doing research and learning about new topics. I love to then share that information with the readers.


About The Author

Staci McLaughlin graduated from the California State University, East Bay before becoming a technical writer for a number of years. Now she is a stay-at-home mom and a cozy mystery writer in my spare time (Ha!). Once she can wrangle the kids into bed, my husband and I enjoy watching scary movies and playing both board games and video games.

She is currently a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, as well as a contributor to the LadyKillers blog. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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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 Western Cozy: Ivy Get Your Gun by Cindy Brown

>> Enter to win an e-copy of Ivy Get Your Gun <<<

There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing! When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingénue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.

What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

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


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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A New Nic and Nigel Mystery: A Perfect Manhattan Murder

>>> ENTER TO WIN a print copy of A Perfect Manhattan Murder <<<
Thrilled that their friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel Martini, along with Nic’s college pal Harper, are trying to enjoy the exclusive after-party. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.
Still, Harper’s their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. The Martinis will stop at nothing—with the possible exception of cocktails and walks with their bull mastiff Skippy—to see that the killer ends up behind bars.


About the Author

tracyportrait

Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”

After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.

While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

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A new Mary-Alice mystery in the Miss Fortune world: Black Widow Valley

Young men have been disappearing in Black Valley, New York–which now has the misfortune of being known as “Black Widow Valley.” As it happens, Mary-Alice Arceneaux has a personal connection with the tiny community, and is called in to help. Mary-Alice is thrilled to be a part of the investigation–but by the time she arrives at the forbidding Kilmer House where she will spend the night, she realizes she may be in over her head. Fortunately (?), Sinful’s Sheriff Robert E. Lee is on the case too!

This modern retelling of Lost Man’s Lane takes the action from the sultry bayous of Southwest Louisiana to the rustic hamlets of upstate New York State.

 

The Miss Fortune series has been described as Miss Congeniality meets Golden Girls, a lighthearted fish-out-of -water adventure with a dash of romance in Louisiana bayou country.

Black Widow Valley is an authorized Kindle Worlds novella written in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune world.

$1.99 on Kindle


The Mary-Alice Files  

We first meet Mary-Alice Arceneaux in SCHOOLED, where she plays a supporting role. In MARY-ALICE MOVES IN, our heroine relocates to Sinful and takes center stage. In BAYOU BUSYBODY, Mary-Alice uses her expert knowledge (derived entirely from her mystery reading) to deal with a strange missing-person case while Ida Belle and Gertie are out of town. In THE VANISHING VICTIM, Mary-Alice is eager to join Gertie and Fortune to do whatever it takes to save Ida Belle from a terrible injustice. ALOHA Y’ALL takes the action from the bayous to the Big Island. BLACK WIDOW VALLEY gives Sheriff Robert E. Lee a turn in the spotlight, and brings Mary-Alice way up to New York State.


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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 Kitty Couture Mystery and Character Interview: Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

cashcover

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.


Lacy, welcome to Island Confidential. Tell us a little bit about yourself–both something we learn from Cat Got Your Cash and something that readers might not guess? 

LMC: Hmm. Well, Louisiana is my home. Specifically, the famed New Orleans Garden District. I left for college about ten years ago, hoping to find myself and break free from my parents’ money. I came bouncing back on my broke behind last summer, after an awful breakup with Pete-the-Cheat. Life, right? I decided to put my Yankee fashion degree to use NOLA style by opening Furry Godmother, a custom costume and clothing boutique for pets. It’s my personal slice of heaven, and I’m not sure why I ever left. I’ll blame naivete and youth. Also, my mother. I guess everyone knows that about me by now. What they might not know is that I’m a hopeless romantic. I put up a good front, but all I really want in life is a marriage like my folks’ and enough sequins and glitter to jazz up the world.

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

LMC: I love my best friend, Scarlet. She’s been my partner in crime since we were in diapers. Unfortunately, she has three little ones in diapers at the moment, so she’s a little busy. I’m on my own for most of my adventures, but when she slips in to join me, the mischief is 100% more fun.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

LMC: I have an ongoing conflict with New Orleans homicide detective, Jack Oliver. He’s a pill, but he’s really easy on the eyes and he means well, so we work out the differences. For example: He wants me to stay out of his investigations, but I want to solve the crimes. He threatens obstruction, so I promise to behave. And the dance continues.

Just between you and me: What do you really think of Julie Chase? 

LMC: She’s a worrier. I’m fine. This is my town. I tell her to relax and enjoy the story, but every time I check in on her, she’s got her shoulders pressed to her ears, and she’s puffing into a paper bag. Just breathe, Julie. I’ve got this. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

What’s next for you? 

LMC: In September you can read about the trouble I got into after my dad was accused of murder in Cat Got Your Secrets. That experience was a doozie, but I got to kiss a devastatingly handsome man, so the whole near death experience trauma kind of evened out.

 


About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie at http://juliechasebooks.com/

Webpage: http://juliechasebooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieChaseAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14957369.Julie_Chase

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieALindsey

 

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