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.

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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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New Mystery Series set in Ireland: Dial P for Poison. (Yes, there is a nun.)

Movies. Muffins. Murder.

Maggie Doyle moved to Ireland to escape her cheating ex and crumbling career in the San Francisco PD. When the most hated woman on Whisper Island is poisoned at her aunt’s Movie Theater Café, Maggie and her rock-hard muffins are hurled into the investigation.

With the help of her UFO-enthusiast friend, a nun, and a feral puppy, Maggie is determined to clear her aunt’s name. Can she catch the murderer before they strike again? Or will her terrible baking skills burn down the café first?

Cozy, quirky, and fun, this tongue-in-cheek mystery is a delicious introduction to the Movie Club Mysteries Series. Grab a cocktail and join Maggie as she takes her detective skills across the pond in Dial P For Poison.


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

MD: My name is Maggie Doyle. I grew up in San Francisco, and followed my parents’ footsteps by joining the SFPD. My mom’s a fifth generation American, but my dad was born in Ireland. I spent many childhood summers on Whisper Island, the remote Irish island where he grew up. I loved the different pace of life, the gorgeous landscape, and my Irish aunts, uncle, and cousins. When my life fell apart last year, I jumped at the chance to help my aunt, Noreen, run her café. I’d always liked the old movie theater in Smuggler’s Cove and I was thrilled to learn that Noreen had renovated it into a café with a small movie theater attached.

Something readers might not guess about me is that the reason I didn’t go back to Whisper Island for eleven years had nothing to do with my Irish ex-boyfriend breaking up with me. It hurt to feel so at home in a place I knew I could never live. My parents and brothers are all in the SFPD, and I felt pressured to follow their example. From day one, life as a police officer wasn’t the right fit for me. I have a natural nose for detection, and a desire to help people, but I hated the bureaucracy and the politics. I don’t like taking orders, and I talked back to people I shouldn’t have. I was never going to rise up the ranks like the rest of my family, as my mother constantly reminds me. I’m a lot happier doing my own thing on Whisper Island.

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

MD: Among my friends and family on Whisper Island, I can confide in my cousin, Julie. She’s a good listener, and she doesn’t pry. I also get along well with my friend, Lenny, but our relationship is more based on fun than on sharing confidences. Although I have a hunch that Lenny might need my help soon…
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with? Why?
Police Sergeant O’Shea. He’s lazy, incompetent, and blinded by wealth and social status. He reminds me of a guy who was my superior in the SFPD, and not in a good way.

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

MD: I think we’d get along if we met in real life, once she got over her shyness. I might need to loosen her up with one of my signature Peppermint Cream cocktails!

What’s next for you?

MD: I’ve decided to stay on Whisper Island for a few months. I’ll continue to help out at the Movie Theater Café, but I’m planning on some rest and relaxation. After all, how much murder and mayhem can happen on one small island?


About The Author

USA Today bestselling author Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, but spent her summers in a small town very similar to Ballybeg, the fictitious town in which she sets her Irish contemporary romances.

She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries (with occasional success) to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.

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New Quaker Midwife Mystery and Research Guest Post: Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell

>>>Enter to Win a Print Copy<<<

Praise for Delivering the Truth
by Edith Maxwell (Book 1 in this series)

Ms. Maxwell weaves a sturdy cloth from the stories of the various characters in Delivering the Truth.
~Back Porchervations

I enjoyed every minute of this book…
~Shelley’s Book Case

This was a very entertaining read. I really enjoy reading Edith Maxwell’s writing as it flows so well.
~Melina’s Book Blog

…a different type of historical cozy…I enjoyed reading a book where the protagonist is a midwife and of the Quaker faith…
~Storeybook Reviews

Rose is a smart character and the history of the story is done well.
~A Chick Who Reads

The author takes us into Rose’s life, making us feel as though we are right there with her in every situation. The mystery is well-developed and leaves the reader guessing right to the end.
~Book Babble

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?


Runabout, Phaeton, Brougham, Rockaway?

 I had the great fortune to go riding in a carriage last summer with a woman who really knows her stuff.  I’m always looking to improve the details in my late nineteenth-century Quaker Midwife Mysteries, and Susan Koso is one way to do it.

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She owns a mare named Hope. She owns a number of horse-drawn vehicles that my midwife Rose Carroll might very well have ridden in. She knows what kind of bridles and tack were used in 1888. And she’s written academic published papers on the roads, the carriage industry, and the economics of the late 1800s. How could I go wrong?

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I first met Susan at a couple of years ago at an Amesbury Carriage Museum event, where this not-young woman showed herself to be more agile and flexible than me, crawling around helping to secure carriages the museum was moving down from a second-floor loft.

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In late June when the flies and mosquitoes were all hatched and bothersome, I drove to our riding appointment a few town’s south of here, and I met her horse, Hope. Hope’s crocheted ear guard is similar to those horses would have worn to keep the bugs out of their ears and eyes. Susan hitched Hope to a beautiful restored runabout (an open two-seater conveyance with four wheels pulled by one horse), handed me a helmet, and off we went.

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We wandered around Essex County Greenbelt Association trails, rode all through Appleton Farm (which used to be my walking route when I lived in that town), and moseyed back, talking all the way. I got to experience Hope trotting, I hung on for dear life on bumpy trails and around corners, and I generally soaked up the atmosphere.

On a couple of trails, Susan said, “This would have looked exactly the same in Rose Carrols’s day.” I had to agree!
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As when I went riding the year before, I wore my long linen skirt and low boots to get a small feel for the clothing of the day.
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I never stopped picking Susan’s considerable brain. I learned more about all the different kinds of vehicles: phaetons, broughams, traps, and Rockaways, among others. She said the dash board in front of our knees – named to prevent hooves from dashing mud up onto passengers and drivers – might have been covered in patent leather. She told me a horse pushes a carriage rather than pulls it (which I still don’t quite get). I even heard about the “fifth wheel” – but that one’s going to need further study before I use it in a book.

She suggested a couple of convenient ways for a malicious villain (oh, I guess that’s redundant) to do away with someone by cutting almost through an important strap or to cause a horse to be a runaway. This is a woman after my own heart. Susan had also finished reading Delivering the Truth, and kindly pointed out a couple of small errors in horse-and-carriage procedure. I thanked her, of course. And then she read the manuscript for Called to Justice within a couple of days’ time and corrected me on several points in that book, too.

I’m so delighted and grateful to have found a subject matter expert willing to share her extensive knowledge with me. Guess who’s getting a complimentary copy of each book in the series as long as it runs?


About The Author  


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New Tj Jensen Mystery and Character Interview: Treasure in Paradise by Kathi Daley

Tj Jensen and her family head to Turtle Cove Resort for summer vacation, but their plans for rest and relaxation are thwarted when they find a dead treasure hunter in the attic of the resort’s main house. Initially vowing not to get involved, Tj quickly changes her tune when the Gull Island deputy on the case closes it after a bare bones investigation. All evidence points to foul play, and Tj’s determined to uncover what the deputy wants to keep hidden. With the help of her best friend and a chatty parrot, Tj digs up a centuries old legend, a hidden map, and secrets buried deeper than pirate’s treasure.


TJ, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

TJ:  My name is Tj Jensen. I am a physical education teacher and coach at the local high school. I live in a multi-generation household with my grandfather, father, and two half-sisters who I gained custody of after our mother died. I am an athletic tomboy who knows her own mind and tends to act spontaneously at times. I have several really close friends although my love life has been a mess as of late. I have a strong sense of justice which seems to land me in sticky situations a lot more often than would seem reasonable or normal.

Which character in Treasure in Paradise do you get along with the best?

TJ: I have a large family who I adore as well as two best friends who mean the world to me but if I had to pick one person who I always seem to run to no matter what the situation it would be my best friend Kyle Donovan. Kyle is the sort of person who I know always has my back and is always on my side no matter what.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

TJ: The local sheriff and I don’t really get along since he isn’t fond of my tendency to meddle in things he feels are none of my business.

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

TJ: As authors go she’s okay. She pretty much lets me run the show and she understands that her job is just to type as my friends and I live our lives and face the challenges that always seem to rear their ugly heads. She is a terrible speller however so I am glad she had a really good editor so the gang and I don’t come off poorly in the eyes of the reader.

What’s next for you?

TJ: I am visiting Gull Island this summer but I have plans to return home to Paradise Lake in the fall where I’m sure I will resume the task of raising my sisters and looking for the one true love which, to this point, has eluded me.


About the Author

Author of the Zoe Donovan cozy Mystery Series, Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mystery series, Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mysteries, and Seacliff High Teen Cozy Mystery Series.
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Come for the murder, stay for the romance.

Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she’s not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.

Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.

Visit Kathi Daley:

Blog – http://kathidaleyblog.com

Facebook at Kathi Daley Books, www.facebook.com/kathidaleybooks

Kathi Daley Teen – www.facebook.com/kathidaleyteen

Kathi Daley Books Group Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/569578823146850/

Kathi Daley Books Birthday Club- get a book on your birthday –https://www.facebook.com/groups/1040638412628912/

Kathi Daley Recipe Exchange – https://www.facebook.com/groups/752806778126428/

Webpage – www.kathidaley.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278377.Kathi_Daley

Twitter at Kathi Daley@kathidaley – https://twitter.com/kathidaley

Tumblr – http://kathidaleybooks.tumblr.com/

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kathidaley/


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New Bay Island Psychic Mystery and Gift Card Giveaway: Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory

>>>Enter to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card<<<

A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight—Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder…

occult-and-battery

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.


Island Confidential: Aloha Lena, and welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us about your protagonist, Cass? 

LG:  Although Cass Donovan runs a psychic shop on Bay Island, she doesn’t view herself as psychic. Her customers swear she can communicate with the dead, but she views what she does as more…scientific. Years of psychiatric training, combined with great instincts, allow her to “read” people with a remarkable amount of accuracy. But events in Occult and Battery force her to reassess her beliefs.

How much of you is in Cass? 

LG:  I don’t think there’s much of me in Cass. I tend to be much more practical and grounded in reality. If I’m similar to anyone, I’d say it’s Stephanie, who is the voice of reason more often than not. I would be thrilled to meet Cass, Bee and Stephanie in real life! I spent two years writing characters I would love to be friends with. Each time I finished a book, I have to admit, I was a little sad to leave them.

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

LG:  Absolutely! Especially Cass. She starts to follow her instincts and accept more of what’s happening as the series progresses. The friendship between the three main characters also becomes evolves.

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

LG:  No, but I’ve thought of hurting them a little. ;)

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

LG:  Aside from the fact that Bay Island doesn’t actually exist, the setting is pretty true to life. I’ve tried to convey what it’s really like to live on an island between the north and south forks of Long Island. The weather, the importance of the tourist trade, the locals, the isolation, are all realistic.

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

LG: Cass; Emily Bett Rickards, Bee; Eric Stonestreet, Stephanie; Ashley Benson, Luke; Stephen Amell, Tank; Chris Hemsworth.

stonestreet-et-al

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

LG:  The best advice I’ve ever received is easy; just write your book. The most important step, for me, in creating a story is getting it down. There’s plenty of time to go back and fix things afterward.

The worst advice is a little tougher. For me, I think it was don’t pay attention to reviewers. While I do understand not everyone is going to like every book, I feel if several reviewers are constructively and kindly pointing out the same issues, it’s something you might want to take a look at.

Thanks for stopping by!

LG: Thank you so much for having me and for sharing the release of Occult and Battery!


About The Author

lena-gregory-portrait

Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.lenagregory.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaGregory03

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lenagregoryauth/?etslf=2219&eq=lena%20gregory

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14956514.Lena_Gregory

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New Country Store Cozy and #Giveaway: When the Grits Hit the Fan by Maddie Day

>>>Win a print copy of When the Grits Hit the Fan<<<

Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?when-grits-hit-the-fan

Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her own thesis on the homicide—even if that means stirring up terrible danger for herself along the way . . .


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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New Tarot Mystery and Guest Post: 3 Tips for Writing with a Partner

>>>Enter to win a print copy<<<

Reformed con artist-turned-tarot reader Alanis McLachlan gets paid for predicting the future—too bad she didn’t see all the trouble in hers. First a figure from her past tries to drag her back into the life of crime she thought she’d left behind.

Then a new suitor tries to sweep Alanis off her feet, forcing her on-again, off-again romance with hunky teacher Victor Castellanos to hit the skids. And then there’s the little matter of the client who gets an ominous reading from Alanis . . . and is promptly murdered. Danger is in the cards for Alanis, and she’ll need all her skill at reading people and reading tarot if she’s going to survive.


4 Tips for Writing with a Partner

by Steve Hockensmith

I’m an original kind of guy. One glance at the way I dress myself would tell you that. (Which isn’t to say I’m a fashion plate. It means I don’t play by the same rules as other people…because I can barely understand what the rules are. Most mornings I have to model what I’ve picked out for my wife and ask, “Do these things go together?” And most mornings the answer is “No.” If they made Garanimals for Men, my closet would be filled with it.)

Here’s a surprising thing I just realized about myself, though: In one way or another, I’ve never written a book on my own. My newest novel, the “tarot mystery” Give the Devil His Due, was produced in partnership with tarot reader extraordinaire Lisa Falco. The books in my first series, the “Holmes on the Range” historical mysteries, are set in the same universe as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales. I wrote the official prequel and sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which means I was working with characters and premises created by both Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. My “Nick and Tesla” middle-grade books, which combine mysteries with do-it-yourself science projects for kids, were a collaboration with science educator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder. (And because I didn’t use the word “science” enough in that previous sentence, here it is again: SCIENCE!) And the “Secret Smithsonian” graphic novels I’ve worked on were a team effort with co-writer Chris Kientz and illustrator Lee Nielsen.

So I guess you could say I’m an expert on writing with a partner. Just call me “Collaboration Steve” Hockensmith! Or don’t, because that’s really clunky. Just call me “Collaboration.”

What has your old pal Collaboration learned about collaboration? Well, it’s funny you should ask, because I need a topic for a guest post. Looks like I’ve got one now. Thanks!

Collaboration Tip #1: Work with Dead People

Sir Arthur and Miss Austen have been great collaborators — inspiring, enlightening and never critical. And not litigious, which helps, too. (The public domain is a beautiful thing.) What more could you ask for in a partner? Other than, you know, life?

Collaboration Tip #2: Work with Friends

If you absolutely, positively must work with a living partner, choose someone you get along with. Both Lisa Falco, my tarot mystery collaborator, and Chris Kientz, my “Secret Smithsonian” co-creator, were my pals before we started writing together. And because we have clear delineation of duties — Lisa does the tarot stuff, I do the mystery stuff; Chris and I take turns writing scripts — we never disagreed on anything enough to become non-pals.

Collaboration Tip #3: Work with People Who Don’t Give a $%&@

If you absolutely, positively must work with a partner who is alive and whom you don’t know well, make it someone who’s too distracted to meddle with your work. Seth Grahame-Smith, who did the first Pride and Prejudice and Zombies “mash-up” novel, is now a much sought-after screenwriter and producer, which means he’s too busy cashing checks to concern himself with anything I get up to. And though “Science Bob” did give a $%&@ about our “Nick and Tesla” books, he was running around teaching kids, doing media appearances and inventing time machines in his basement on the East Coast while I was writing out West. (I don’t know for sure that “Science Bob” was inventing time machines in his basement, but what else do you think someone named “Science Bob” is going to get up to on the weekends?)

Collaboration Tip #4: Be Efficient

Map things out with your partner so there’s no wasted effort. And split up duties whenever possible. Like, for instance, when promoting a new book. Only one of you needs to work on a guest post for a blog. And it should be short and to the point and end the second you’ve run out of things to say.


About The Author

Steve Hockensmith’s first novel, Holmes on the Range, was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony and Dilys awards. He went on to write four sequels as well as a pair of bestselling follow-ups to the international publishing sensation Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. More recently, he wrote (with collaborator “Science Bob” Pflugfelder) the middle-grade mysteries Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab and Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage.

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New Down South Cafe Mystery and Character Interview: Silence of the Jams

>>> Enter to Win a signed paperback, Down South Cafe t-shirt, and Flirty Apron Oven Mitt Set <<<

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

silence-of-the-jamsIt’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!


Island Confidential: Aloha Amy, and welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Amy: Hi! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Amy Flowers, and I own and operate the Down South Café. We’re gearing up for Independence Day. In Winter Garden, that means a town-wide celebration! Since the café also kind of serves as a bakery—because the closest bakery outside of Winter Garden is about a twenty-minute drive away—I’ve been baking extra cakes and pies so patrons can come in and buy them for their individual celebrations. A lot of reunions take place around the time of the Winter Garden Independence Day Festival. You might not know this about me, but I love to dance. I’m not really good at it, and I prefer a nice slow dance to a fast dance, but swaying in the arms of a handsome man is just wonderful. And I know just the man I want to dance with…if he asks me to the dance, that is.

Which character in Silence of the Jams do you get along with the best?

Amy: I guess I’d have to say that the person I get along with best is my mother. She and I lived on our own for a long time—my dad left when I was just a little girl—and we’ve always gotten along really well. I think I always recognized the sacrifices she made for me, and I’ve always appreciated her. I know it takes some kids at lot longer to come to that realization than I did, but I’m glad I came to that conclusion at a young age.

Which other character do you not love so much?

Amy: Oh, my goodness! Have you got the rest of the day? George Lincoln gets on my last nerve. That man is impossible. First, George tried to get Pete Holman to sell the café to him instead of me. I didn’t have a problem with that. In fact, I encouraged Pete to get the best deal he could. But Pete knew that George was planning on tearing down the café and putting a bed and breakfast on the site, and Pete didn’t want that. He wanted something of the café his grandfather had built to remain. And so he sold it to me, and my friend Roger helped me renovate it. You’d think that would be the end of it, right? Not for George Lincoln! He still comes in two or three times a week to tell me how poorly the restaurant business is doing, what my odds of going broke are, and trying to get me to sell out to him. No matter how many times I tell him no, he just keeps on asking. If I had a parrot, all the poor bird would know how to say would be, “No, thank you, Mr. Lincoln. I’m not interested, Mr. Lincoln.”

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

Amy: I like Gayle pretty good. But since this is just between you and me, I’ll tell you, she tends to procrastinate. You can get her off track with a single email, and she’ll neglect her work for hours. She’s like a racoon or a crow—show her something shiny, and off she goes. “Oh, my goodness,” she’ll say. “Did you see that puppy video on Facebook? Wasn’t that the cutest thing? And, I meant to get right on those edits, but then I saw a sale that just during the lunch hour. I didn’t buy anything, but you never know, right? So then I saw the Google doodle for William Shakespeare’s birthday. [Sigh] William Shakespeare…well, you can’t ever know too much about him, can you? So, I clicked through and—” And that’s when I interrupt her and say, “You know, Gayle, maybe old Bill was so prolific because he didn’t have the Internet to distract him from his work.”

What’s next for you?

Amy: Well, I love to support the local farmers in the area, and I’ve been talking with Stuart Landon about selling some of his honey on consignment in the café. I think that will be a good business decision for both of us. Don’t you?

Readers: Find out in HONEY BAKED HOMICIDE, coming in December!


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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New Wedding Planner Mystery: Dying on the Vine by Marla Cooper

>>>Enter to win a hardcover copy of Dying on the Vine<<<

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.


Aloha Marla, and thanks for stopping by! Can you tell us a little about your protagonist? 

Marla Cooper: Kelsey McKenna is a destination wedding planner who lives in San Francisco. She has a fun job that’s the envy of everyone she meets—but it’s not all international flights and champagne toasts. She also has to deal with tricky family dynamics… and an occasional murder.

How much of you is in Kelsey?

MC: There’s a lot of me in Kelsey. I love planning and organizing, and we also share the same sense of humor. Her best friend Brody is based on two of my real-life BFFs, and I love writing scenes where they’re together, because they banter in the exact same way we do. If I ever met her, we’d probably have tons of fun—or we’d find each other completely annoying in that way you do sometimes when you meet someone who is too similar.

Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life—on the pages of a murder mystery?

MC: Absolutely! In Dying on the Vine, a certain high-strung wedding planner is based on a former co-worker, and in Terror in Taffeta, the bridesmaid who dies may or may not share the same first name as my college roommate who was just as impossible as her fictional counterpart.

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

MC: Each book in my series takes place in a different real-life location, and I love to give the reader a real sense of the setting. Terror in Taffeta is set in San Miguel de Allende, and you can’t write about it without mentioning the cobblestone streets, the gothic church that looms over the town plaza, or, of course, the tequila donkey (a local wedding tradition). Dying on the Vine is set in the California wine country, and although I didn’t use their actual names, each winery, restaurant and bed and breakfast is based on a real place.

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

MC: I like the way you say “when” instead of “if”! The first book in the series, Terror in Taffeta, is actually under option right now, so someone could be sitting in a room discussing this very topic at this very moment. I usually pick Cristin Milioti to play Kelsey, but I just saw a movie with Anna Kendrick and I think she could pull off the humor really well. (Anna, if you’re reading this, call me!)

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

MC: There’s something I’ve seen bandied about on Twitter a lot, and someone liked it enough to turn into a graphic, but it’s never resonated with me at all: “Writers write. Every single day. Period.” I’m a writer, and I don’t write every single day. Sometimes you’re between projects. Sometimes you’re out experiencing life so that you have something to write about. Sometimes you’re in the hospital undergoing a minor surgery, or perhaps driving across country. If you told me I really did have to write every single day, I’d turn in my laptop right now.

On the flip side, there is a kernel of truth in that rather strict maxim. When you’re in the middle of a project, you should write consistently so that you don’t lose momentum. And you should definitely learn to write even when you don’t feel like it—because sometimes you’re just not going to feel like it. So yes, if you want to be a writer, you do have to actually do the writing. But please, take a weekend off every once in a while.


About The Author  

As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives inOakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


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New Bed and Breakfast Mystery and #giveaway: Cherry Cake and a Cadaver by Susan Boles

>>>Enter to win a Kindle Fire and a bunch of other amazing prizes<<<<>

Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly.
As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.


Lily, welcome to Island Confidential. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?

Lily Gayle: I’m 48 years old. I left Mercy after high school to attend Ole Miss. I can tell you I had some really good time on that campus (wink wink) and I met my husband while I was there. We had some real good years together. No kids though. It was a sadness for both of us. He’s gone now. Killed in a car wreck coming home from a meeting in Nashville, TN. Once that happened, the only thing I wanted to do was just bury myself under a rock. My old friend, Dixie, showed up at my door one day and started packing up my stuff. Never even asked me. Next thing I knew I was back home in Mercy living in the old house my grandparents left to me a while back. Once Dixie got me to start living again, I got into the business of making gowns for ladies who do re-enactments and attend conferences. I’ve been sewing since I was a little thing. And I had been doing genealogy for years. But not professionally. So I started that up too. Next thing I knew, I was back to living.

Then I stared getting mixed up in some mysteries in town. Mostly minor stuff. Kids getting up to mischief. And found out I like that a lot. My cousin, Ben, is the county Sheriff and I help him solve cases. But he’d tell you I get in his way and stick my nose into things that aren’t my business. But I don’t pay him any mind – even when he calls me a Nancy Drew wanna be. Nope. I just have a knack for this kind of work and I’m gonna help him all I can. My best friend, Dixie, is right there by my side. Why there’s nothing we can’t figure out. And, then Miss Edna, the town busybody, decided to get in on the action. So now there’s three of us.

Something readers might not know about me. Hm. Well….I’m an only child and I always wished I had brothers and sisters. But, I guess that’s why my cousin, Ben, and I get along like we do. He’s an only child too. We fight and make up just like regular siblings. And we were born on the same day. And our Mama’s were twins. So, I reckon that makes the two of us almost twins.

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

LG: That would be Dixie. We’ve been best friends ever since we met back when we were in diapers. Think and thin. Best of friends. That’s always been us. She’s always been there for me. Even when I was up to something we both knew we shouldn’t be doing. She’d do it with me and suffer the consequences right by my side. Come to think on it, she still does! LOL.

Which other character do you have a conflict with?

LG: I get along with most everybody. But I sometimes have little spats with my cousin, Ben. He’s really the only one who just finds my last nerve and stands on it with all his weight. Been that way since we were kids. Always thinking he can run th show. Guess that’ why he ended up being sheriff. He can run other people’s shows now. But still can’t run mine.

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

LG: She’s a smart cookie! Got a good head on her shoulders. And the ability to think things through and to spot things that don’t quite makes sense. She makes me look really good. So what else can I say? She loves a great mystery, just like me. And she’s into all the crafts. Sewing, knitting, crocheting. And, now that it’s Spring, she’s loving all the flowers from bulbs she planted last fall and planning an expansion of her gardens.

What’s next for you?

More beautiful gowns for the ladies. A girl’s gotta pay the bills, you know. And maybe getting into business with Miss Edna’s niece. I’d like to help her out after everything she’s been through. And, of course, I’m thinking there will more mysteries to solve!


Susan

About the Author

Susan calls McNairy County, TN her home ground even though she has moved away. It was here, at Bethel Springs Junior High School that she began her writing career with two friends. They formed their own little writers group that was so secret they were the only ones who knew it existed. She still has some of the stories they wrote carefully preserved in a loose leaf binder and tucked away for safety.
She has worked in retail management, briefly for the Census Bureau and for many years in the investment/insurance industry in the regulatory compliance arena. All of which are left brain activities. So she exercises her right brain activity with reading and writing…just to keep both sides even.

Reading has been a passion since she was very young. As a toddler, her mother read to her from her ‘baby books’ and her Mother tells a story about her holding one of them upside-down and ‘reading’ by repeating the story verbatim from memory.

Death of a Wolfman is the first in the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. Her previously published romantic suspense novel, Fated Love, is a contemporary paranormal romantic suspense (with a twist of paranormal) set in Memphis, TN. Her first novel, Kate’s Pride, is a historical women’s fiction set in West Tennessee in the aftermath of the Civil War. The novel is loosely based on her own Great Grandmother and published under the pen name Renee Russell.

Life got in the way of writing for many years but now she’s come back to her early love.

Stay in touch for upcoming releases!

Author Links:

www.susanbolesauthor.com

@SusanBAuthor

https://susanbolesauthor.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Boles-Author/100010974857065

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-boles-author-a4075484

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14866595.Susan_Boles


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