Character Interview: Nun After the Other by Alice Loweecey

Win an electronic copy of Nun After The Other

Win an electronic copy of Nun After The Other


Nuns and murder and ghosts, oh my! Here comes Giulia Driscoll again, and boy, is she in for it this time.

It starts when a frenzied Chihuahua leads Giulia and Frank Driscoll to the body of a nun in the street near a convent. The nuns fear they’re being harassed by the biggest developer in town and quickly embrace Giulia as their savior.

Of course the former nun who exposed the drug ring run by a priest and nun will save their home and discover the murderer.

And of course not only Giulia takes this job, but also all the other jobs clamoring for her attention. The result: Driscoll Investigations is pushed to its limit.

Then Giulia’s brother falls into a coma and she brings his kids to her house. Talk about a crash course in parenting for pregnant Giulia!

Did we mention the convent ghost? She loves the house, hates the nuns, and chain-smokes. Why couldn’t Giulia’s first honest-to-goodness ghost be shy and sweet?

More important, does the ghost hate the nuns—or the developer—enough to indulge in a bit of murder to liven up the afterlife?


Character Interview

Giulia, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a hardworking professional Private Investigator, and I’m worried I’ll turn into a Mama Bear. When I held my first baby I understood every motherhood cliché every written. Motherhood is changing me in ways I never expected.

Who’s the character you get along with the best?
My husband Frank. Isn’t that the way it should be? Although there are times I wonder if it wasn’t easier living with 95 nuns scrutinizing my every move than living with one man. Research is ongoing.

That’s a minor detail that might interest our readers–you’re a former nun, hence the book title. So is there anyone in Nun After The Other you don’t get along with so well? 
My brother Salvatore. He used to be nothing more than a pain in the butt, but we managed to get along. Then he got sucked into an extremist Catholic sect and he’s as bad as the entire Westboro Baptist Church rolled into one person. He almost makes me curse, which proves what he’s like to deal with.

What do you think of your author, Alice?
She needs to stop stressing me out . She puts me in these interesting adventures and then ramps up the action. Suddenly I’m dodging bullets and knives and getting forced of the road in a high-speed chase. And now ghosts? The woman needs yoga or meditation or something.

Assuming you survive this book, what’s next for you?
Ghosts, ghosts, and more ghosts. Now that they know about me, they’re showing up at all hours. I’m a new mother: I need SLEEP. I’ve started to set boundaries. The biggest one is: Wake my sleeping baby and I’ll make your afterlife much worse than anything that happened to you while you were alive.

 


About The Author  

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer Horror and Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which might explain a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Links

 


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New Bed and Breakfast Mystery plus giveaway: Clues in the Sand by Terry Ambrose

enter to win a copy PLUS a Starbucks gift card!


To Rick Atwood’s dismay, the police find a body on the beach near his Seaside Cove B&B. The dead woman held a pottery shard from an ancient rice bowl, which the cops believe is a clue to her murder.

The chief suspect is Flynn O’Connor, a female archaeologist known for her hatred of treasure thieves. Trouble is, Rick’s daughter Alex sees Flynn as a role model and will not believe her friend is a killer.

Alex pressures her dad as only a ten-year-old can to prove Flynn is innocent. The mayor is also making demands—for Rick to stay out of the investigation. With his daughter and the mayor at odds, Rick sees trouble brewing. He knows too well how much Alex loves sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Especially when there’s murder involved.

Enter to win a copy of the book plus a Starbucks gift card!


Character Guest Post by Alex (Age 10)

Hey Journal,

I gotta go soon because we’re having a luau here at the B&B! Daddy said we were gonna spend the afternoon sipping umbrella drinks and watching the sunset. Okay, I’m only ten, so I don’t get a real umbrella drink. I get the kid’s version. But, here in Seaside Cove we have palm trees and we have a beach, so it’s almost the same as what we’d get at a real luau, right?

Now that me and Daddy own the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast and are living here, we can’t take a big vacation. Marquetta’s worked here for so long she could totally run this place on her own, but Daddy says that wouldn’t be fair. That makes me happy because I’d like her to go with us if we do go to Hawaii.

Marquetta ran the B&B after Captain Jack died. She did that for a long time before me and Daddy moved here. I didn’t think I was gonna like Seaside Cove, but when I met Marquetta, I totally fell in love. She’s gonna be my new mom someday. I just have to get her and Daddy to realize it. My plan to get them together is starting to work. They both like each other a lot and maybe someday they’ll stop acting so lame!

For the luau, Daddy ordered the makings for this stuff called shave ice. We got coconut and macadamia nut and pineapple syrups, plus a couple other flavors. According to Marquetta, this won’t be authentic because we don’t have a machine to shave the ice, but we can use a blender and it will be close!

Today I’m wearing my first grass skirt. Daddy wanted to buy one for Marquetta, too, but she said she wouldn’t wear hers unless he wore one too. Me and Marquetta thought that was funny, but Daddy didn’t think so.

It’s kinda fun getting an afternoon off. Between being in fifth grade, helping around the B&B, and finding a killer, my life has been totally hectic. After we moved from New York, Daddy said we were gonna settle into a nice little town where not much happened. That sounded totally boring to me. Then, I heard about all the treasure around here.

The treasure hunters are getting closer to the old Manila galleon that sunk off the coast. Miss O’Connor, she’s the lady archaeologist who’s staying here, told me all about those old ships and how hard the journey was. It’s awesome that one sunk off our coast!

Anyway, I thought having all those treasure hunters around would be super interesting, but it was even better than that because they keep getting murdered! That gives me and Daddy killers to find. I’ve told you how he doesn’t like me to help him find the clues, but between you and me, Journal, he needs my help. That’s why I’ve gotta get him and Marquetta together soon. I can’t keep splitting my time between helping them see the obvious, finding killers, and fifth grade. Something’s gotta give, Journal.

I just looked out my window and Daddy’s out on the patio with Marquetta. They look super happy right now. Someday, this is all gonna work. I just know it!

Gotta go,

Alex

PS I guess that should’ve been aloha.

 


About the Author

Terry Ambrose is a former skip tracer who only stole cars when it was legal. He’s long since turned his talents to writing mysteries and thrillers. Several of his books have been award finalists and in 2014 his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. He’s currently working on the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series.

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Six Feet Under (A Kenni Lowry Mystery) by Tonya Kappes. With character interview!

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. And let me tell you, this broth is in trouble. Get ready for a Southern showdown.

The residents of Cottonwood, Kentucky are sent into a tizzy when the Culinary Channel comes to town to film an episode of Southern Home Cookin’ with celebrity chef Frank Von Lee.

Especially Sheriff Kenni Lowry.

Her mama’s award-winning chicken pot pie is what brought Frank to town, and they don’t make hair in the South bigger than her mama’s ego after the news.

When Frank Von Lee is found dead from food poisoning and the most likely culprit is Mama’s chicken pot pie, Kenni’s poppa, the former sheriff, comes back from the Great Beyond to assist in the investigation.

But nothing’s prepared Kenni for such a personal tie to a case, and she finds herself pushing the limits of the laws she’s sworn to protect.

This book’s so delicious it’ll make your mouth water and leave you hankerin’ for more.


Character Interview

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

I’m a smidgen of a perfectionist. I know. . .my friend’s jaws will drop because I’m so selfless and caring and seem a bit carefree. I like things to go just so and I have a hard time letting go when they don’t. Now, I’m gonna trust that this is just between me and you because I don’t want any unruly rumors out there that I’m bragging on myself, because I’m not. Around these parts, rumors are ramped.

Who’s your favorite character in Six Feet Under?

Definitely my daughter, Kenni. I mean…Sheriff Kendrick Lowry. She’s been elected twice now. Did you hear that she’s dating the hunk deputy of her’s? Finn Vincent. Oh my. I’ve said too much. She might not like me telling you that but deep down, I know that she’s just over the moon. Over the moon!

Is there anyone you have a conflict with?

Everyone loves me and I love them. I’m not saying that I don’t have a few disagreements with some people and right now I don’t have time to be worried about anyone because the Culinary Channel is coming here to film me and my little famous chicken pot pie. See, everyone loves me.

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

She could put on some lipstick when she’s talking to me. I never understood why Tonya doesn’t live up to her southern roots. She really should get a bath and clean up before she goes to work. It’s not pretty.

What’s next for you?

I’m gonna be famous! My chicken pot pie is going to be tasted by the famous Chef Frank Von Lee. He’s going to make me famous. Youwhoooooo, Hollywood, here I come!


About the Author

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

 

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .

Visit Tonya:
Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes,
https://www.facebook.com/authortonyakappes

Kappes Krew Street Team
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208579765929709/

Website
tonyakappes.com

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4423580.Tonya_Kappes

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/tonyakappes11

Pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/tonyakappes/

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A new Rose City mystery by Kate Dyer-Seeley: Natural Thorn Killer

 

Enter to win a copy!

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .


About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Author Links

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

Win a copy PLUS a $20 Amazon gift card!

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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Pre-Meditated Murder: A New Downward Dog mystery and Guest Post by Tracy Weber

enter to win a print copy

enter to win a print copy

Yoga instructor Kate Davidson is ready to marry her boyfriend Michael, so she’s disappointed when a special dinner doesn’t end with a proposal. But disappointment turns to dismay and outrage as she learns the real problem: Michael is already married and his green card-seeking wife is blackmailing him.

When his wife’s body is found—by Kate and her dog, no less—Michael is strangely unable to remember where he was the night she died. Since Michael has no alibi, Kate steps up to uncover what happened. What she walks into is a tangled web of deceit, obsession, and immigration fraud . . . with Michael trapped in the middle.


Guest Post from Tracy Weber

Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life: What Inspired Me to Write the Downward Dog Mystery Series

Several things inspired me to become a writer: a lifelong love of cozy mysteries; a passion for yoga; an almost obsessive love of dogs; a next door neighbor who is also a prolific author. I can even narrow down the specific moment I decided to write the Downward Dog Mystery Series. It involved a rainy night, a particularly challenging workout, and a passage from Susan Conant’s book Black Ribbon.

But in the end, the inspiration for my Downward Dog Mystery Series came from my first German shepherd dog, Tasha.

Tracy and Tasha

Tracy and Tasha

Tasha had some of the same issues as Bella, the German shepherd in my series. She was huge, not always perfectly well behaved, and she had a variety of expensive health conditions. In spite of her problems, I adored her to a fault.

She passed away a year and a half ago, and I still miss her.  Living with Tasha changed my life, in every way for the better. She made me more patient, more loving, and more connected with my community. At the same time, she got me into some pretty “interesting” situations. I began to wonder:  What if a yoga teacher with a crazy German shepherd like mine started stumbling into murder investigations?  What kind of trouble could she and her dog get into?

The plot for my first book, Murder Strikes a Pose, formed from that idea. In that story, Bella’s owner, a homeless man named George, is murdered.  In the most recent, Pre-Meditated Murder, Bella digs up the body of Kate’s boyfriend’s wife.  Oops!

Now that Tasha is gone, I share my life with crazy German shepherd pup Ana, so hopefully I’ll have another twelve years of GSD antics to share with my readers.

Ana protecting Tracy from Unidentified Creepy Statue

Ana protecting Tracy from Unidentified Creepy Statue

I hope you all continue reading my work and finding creativity in your own lives!

 


About The Author

Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate Davidson and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. Her first book, Murder Strikes a Pose won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and is a 2015 Agatha award nominee for Best First Novel.

Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.

Keep up with Tracy

Website | Facebook | Whole Life Yoga | Twitter | Goodreads 


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A New Cat Latimer Mystery from Lynn Cahoon: Of Murder and Men

Love is in the air in Aspen Hills, and it’s making a terrible mess of Cat Latimer’s writers’ retreat—especially when blood stains the plot . . .

Ever since her business partner, Shauna, fell for a wealthy landowner in town, Cat has been working double time to keep her writers’ retreat running. And with the January session almost underway, that spells trouble. As if scheduling mishaps aren’t disastrous enough, Shauna skips out on kitchen duties one morning, forcing Cat to serve unsuspecting guests store-bought muffins . . .

But best laid plans really go awry when Shauna discovers her beau missing from their bed. When his body later turns up in the horse barn, they quickly find out the victim’s scandalous lifestyle left many dying for revenge. While balancing an eccentric group of aspiring writers and a suspect list for the record books, Cat soon finds herself on the heels of a killer—and authoring her most deadly conclusion yet . . .


Character Interview

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

Hi, I’m Seth Howard. I’m the Aspen Hill’s handyman as well as being Cat’s boyfriend. We dated in high school and even then, I knew she was the one. She, unfortunately, had other plans and married that professor guy. But now that’s he’s gone, that’s water under the bridge, I hope. That Dante character hangs around a bit too often for my peace of mind. How can I compete with a guy who has everything?

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

Of course Cat and I get along best. (wink, wink). Okay, fine, I’ll be good. Honestly, I’m good with her uncle too. Pete and I have been friends for a while now, since I got back from my service in the Army. He knew I was still messed up on Cat, but he was nice enough not to rub my nose in it. He’s a cool guy. Even if he is the chief of police.

Anyone you have a conflict with?

I don’t know if it’s conflict, but Shauna’s been strange lately. She’s always disappearing to Kevin’s ranch. If you ask me, she’s addicted to the money thing too. The guy is almost as rich as Dante, but of course, he got his money the legal way. Dante’s family, well, let’s just say they’re connected. Back to Shauna. She used to be chatty when I showed up at the house, but now, she looks at me like I’m the enemy. Maybe Cat said something to her that I should know.

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

I’d love to be honest, but she’s standing right behind me. I can feel her there. Lynn’s okay. She’s funny and lets us do what we want. I worry that she lets Cat get too deep into these investigations and maybe into danger, but she always pulls her out just in time.

What’s next for you?

My author, Lynn, has already dictated our next adventure. SLAY IN CHARACTER will release in late 2018. We took the writers on a field trip to Outlaw, Colorado. It’s a ghost town that’s been refurbished for tourists, but is as authentic to 1860 as possible. We even got to see a shootout. Although the guy who ‘died’ didn’t really know how to act.

 

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of  Cat Latimer series. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.lynncahoon.com

Keep up with Lynn:

Website | Amazon author page | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


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A New Keepsake Cove mystery and Author Interview: A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes

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Callie Reed makes a long overdue visit to her aunt Melodie, who lives in a fairy-tale cottage in quaint Keepsake Cove, home to a bevy of unique collectible shops on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Just as they’re beginning to reconnect, Callie discovers her aunt’s body on the floor of her music box shop. Grief-stricken, Callie finds she can’t accept Melodie’s death being called accidental. How could her strong and healthy aunt take such a fatal fall? And why was she there in the middle of the night?

As Callie searches for the truth, signs seem to come from her late aunt through a favorite music box, urging Callie on. Or are they warnings? If Callie isn’t careful, she could meet a similar deadly fate amid Melodie’s collection.


Mary Ellen, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us about your protagonist, Callie? 

Callie Reed is a young woman in the process of making big changes in her life. She was on the verge of leaving a downward-spiraling relationship and got the push she needed when her aunt died and left her a music box shop and the charming little cottage behind it on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She’s struggling, though, with the official “accident” ruling on her aunt’s death and starts to search for what really happened.

How alike are you and Callie?  

Though I tried my best to create someone totally new, I suspect some of me crept into Callie. Or maybe some of the wishful me. I don’t think I’d be as brave in certain situations as she is. But it’s fun to write and watch the situations from afar.

How would you feel about Callie if you met her in real life?

I think I’d like Callie if I met her. She’s smart, despite the wrong life choices she made when she was younger, and she has a pretty good heart.

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

A Fatal Collection is the first book in the Keepsake Cove series, but I intend to have the characters grow. In my previous series (Pickled and Preserved mysteries and Craft Corner mysteries) the characters’ relationships progressed in a pretty natural way, I’d say.

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

I’ve thought of it but have never done it. I don’t put entire, real people into my books. I’ll mix and match various attributes to create someone new who will do what I want them to do.

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

I’ve created a fictional town. Keepsake Cove is a section of Mapleton filled with shops that each carry particular collectible items. Callie’s has collectible music boxes. Then there’s collectible cooking items, vintage toys, jewelry, etc. But the town is on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a real area that I describe accurately as the characters move about.

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

From your lips to God’s ears! Hmm. If I had total control (in my dreams!) I’d like Emma Watson for Callie, partly because she seems to have grown up pretty well from her Harry Potter role as Hermione.

Emma Watson

George Clooney, unfortunately is a little too old to play Callie’s potential love interest, Brian, who runs the Keepsake Café across the street from her shop. But, hey, who wouldn’t want George on the set? We could darken his hair a little, right?

Young George Clooney

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

One piece of advice that might be both the worst and the best is “write what you know.” A beginning writer might take that as sticking to what they already know and writing only about things they’ve experienced. That, of course, could be severely limiting and possibly quite boring.

What it really means is to know what you write. In other words, do your research, learn about your subject if you don’t already know about it, or learn a lot more about it if you do so that you can write accurately as well as drop in the little tidbits that flesh out a scene or a character so nicely for the reader.


About the Author

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries (Penguin), the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. A Fatal Collection is her debut with Midnight Ink. A Wisconsin native, she has lived most of her adult life in Maryland, where she’s set many of her stories. Visit her at www.MaryEllenHughes.com.

Get A Fatal Collection on Amazon,  B&N, or  kobo

Author Links

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

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor


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A new Potting Shed Mystery and interview: The Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate

USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series continues  

A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.

Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.

With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS


Marty, welcome back to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Pru? 

Life took a turn when Pru Parke had her 50th birthday. That’s when this single, middle-aged American gardener from Dallas, Texas picked up and moved to England to live in her mother’s homeland. Now, in Best-Laid Plants – only three years after her arrival, she’s confident in her profession and her relationships. For the most part.

Are you and Pru alike at all?

Pru has a lot of me in her (as does the protagonist in my other series – Birds of a Feather – although they are entirely different characteristics). I’m a gardener, I love England. Pru doesn’t cook, and I do – that’s a huge difference, and one I have fun with.

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

Indeed they do! (See above comment about Pru not cooking.) That’s an integral part of a series to me – I believe the recurring characters need to change in some way. So Pru’s life situation has changed, and she’s gained more confidence in some areas. She’s met some of her own goals for moving to England, and I’m proud of her for doing that.

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

The thing about my victims – and my murderers, too – is that I like them. Even the bad ones! To me, they all have some redeeming quality. And remember – the murderer always thinks he/she is the hero of the story. However, I do, enjoy taking someone I know or have known and adding a few (more) quirky characteristics and sticking that person in a story. No one ever recognizes him or herself!

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

Totally realistic! That’s my excuse for traveling to England and Scotland, in order to carry out research for my mysteries. Now, having said that, Glebe House (in Best-Laid Plants) is not a real place, but it’s based on a famous Arts and Crafts garden and I’ve even used part of the real garden’s history and woven it into my own story. So, I suppose you could say I weave threads of fiction into real places. What fun!

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

A: This is the perennial debate, isn’t it? I’m open to suggestion for Pru, but I’d like Clive Owen for Christopher (he’s a year or two shy, but by the time he signs the contract, it’ll be fine).

My first choice is Michael Kitchen (from Foyle’s War), but unfortunately he’s a bit too old now. But many readers see that certain quiet, steely, sexy quality in Christopher Foyle as they do Christopher Pearse. And that’s no accident.

But Pru? I’m stuck – although Reese Witherspoon has come to mind (again, she needs only a few more years on her).

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

The absolute worst advice is when an author (beginning or not) gets told how to write. “You must start with an outline!” “You must write a zero draft and never look back until you’re finished!” “You must use sticky notes on a white board!” It’s up to each author to find the right method for her. I am constantly going back over what I wrote the day before – it primes the pump for me, so that I can go on. It’s my way, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be everyone’s way.


 

 

About The Author  

is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries and the Birds of a Feather Mystery series. Wingate is a regular contributor to Country Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

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Why I Write Cozies: Guest post and new Haunted Library Mystery from Allison Brook

Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.

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Why I Write Cozies
by Marilyn Levinson/Allison Brook

Like many authors who have been writing novels for several years, I write in various genres—mysteries, romantic suspense and kiddy lit. Recently I find myself especially drawn to writing cozies. And here are the reasons why:
1. I love writing mysteries but prefer leaving the CSI end of it to other authors. I’m interested in the puzzle and human interest aspects. Why was a person or persons murdered? How does my sleuth go about her investigation to expose the killer?
2. While I enjoy plotting, my characters are my main concern. What makes each one of them tick? How do they relate to one another? Why do they behave the way they do?
3. I LOVE secrets. Many of my characters have secrets that influence their current behavior. Secrets can make a character look guilty when she isn’t. Keeping a secret secret can drive a character to murder.
4. I love writing about small towns. Small towns where everyone knows everyone else is such a cozy element. The setting of a cozy is another character because it influences the people in the story. DEATH OVERDUE takes place in a small town with centuries- old homes and shops built around a village green. My sleuth, Carrie, is a librarian, so a good part of the action occurs in the library.
5. Romance winds its way in many cozies. In DEATH OVERDUE, Carrie finds herself attracting the attention of not one but two very different men.
6. Animals and cozies go hand-in-hand. In DEATH OVERDUE, a half-grown cat attaches himself to Carrie, and she finds herself bringing him to work. In a matter of minutes, Smoky Joe becomes a Library Cat.
7. Cozies always have a satisfying ending. The murderer is caught. Justice prevails. Most cozies are written in series, giving one’s sleuth an opportunity to forge more adventures and solve more mysteries.


About the Author

Allison Brook is the pseudonym for Marilyn Levinson, who writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. She lives on Long Island and enjoys traveling, reading, watching foreign films, doing Sudoku and dining out. She especially loves to visit with her grandchildren on FaceTime.

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