New paranormal cozy and interview: Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss

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Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Maddie knows well the perils of amateur sleuthing and is reluctant to get involved. But her mother insists she investigate. Does her mom have a secret agenda? Or is she somehow connected to the murder?

Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.


Kirsten, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Maddie Kosloski?

KW:  Maddie’s greatest strength and weakness is her big imagination. It serves her well coming up with promotional schemes for the paranormal museum she manages. But it gets her into trouble too, because she tends to blow threats out of proportion. This makes her great fun to write.

How much do you have in common with Maddie? 

KW:  I returned to California after working abroad for years and really floundered, trying to figure out where I “fit”. It didn’t help that it was a tough economy, and I had a hard time finding work. But I got creative and eventually figured it out, becoming a full-time writer. In the first book in the series, The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, Maddie is in the same situation – she’s back from overseas, can’t find work, and is really struggling. So we definitely shared that situation.

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

KW:  Definitely! Stagnant characters are boring. Over the course of the series, Maddie’s arc involves both figuring out what she truly wants and becoming part of a community. The people around her grow as well. Her mother re-learns how to relate to her grown daughter. Her friend, Adele, learns to lighten up. They’re still the same people, but they’re evolving, and I think that keeps things fresh.

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

KW: What mystery writer hasn’t? But I’ve managed to resist it so far.

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

KW:  I based the setting on Lodi, California, though I made up a town for the series called San Benedetto, because I wanted some freedom to make changes. If you’ve been to Lodi, you’ll probably recognize quite a bit in the books – like the adobe arch that marks the entrance to downtown, the landscape, and especially the Wine and Visitors’ Center.

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

KW:  My dream is to get this cozy series onto the Hallmark Mystery channel! But I confess I haven’t visioned much beyond that to who plays the parts. That said, I could easily see Isaiah Mustafa as Detective Slate.

 

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

KW:  Best advice: keep writing. Worst advice: replace the word “said” with other dialog tags. Yes, the word “said” is used a lot in a novel – he said this, and she said that. But people’s eyes glide write over it. I’m not averse to occasionally switching it up. But ironically, it’s when you frequently switch it out for other words like, “he growled” or “she groaned” that it starts to jar on the reader. I heard someone tell a budding author that recently and winced.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

kirsten-weiss

Kirsten Weiss grew up in San Mateo, California. After getting her MBA, she joined the Peace Corps, starting an international career that took her around the fringes of the defunct USSR and into the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

She writes paranormal mystery and suspense, blending her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking good wine.

Follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on her Facebook page, or at her blog.
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Spotlight: Decanting a Murder

>>>Win one of two print copies of Decanting a Murder on Rafflecopter!<<<

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for her Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group.


Decanting a Murder

 

The exam was supposed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party. 

When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncorked―including her own.

 


About The Author  

Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, is always on the lookout for great wines and the stories behind them. She has traveled to wine regions around the world including Chile, South Africa, Spain, Germany, and every region in France. When she’s not visiting wine regions or dreaming up new mysteries, her travel articles have appeared in AAA Hawaii, New Mexico Journey, Modern Luxury Hawaii, and Inspirato. Nadine is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She lives in California with her husband.

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New culinary mystery: CHEF MAURICE and the WRATH of GRAPES

If you enjoy the BBC mystery series Pie in the Sky or M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin mysteries (and you jolly well should), have a look at the Chef Maurice mysteries, by British author J.A. Lang.

Chef Maurice

Chef Maurice and the Wrath of Grapes

An invitation to dinner at the home of renowned wine collector Sir William Burton-Trent soon finds Chef Maurice in the middle of an all-too-real murder mystery party, when Sir William is found dead in his own wine cellar. The guests are acting all innocent, but which one is only playing the part? The pushy Californian film director? The seductive French winemaker?

Or could it be, against all narrative decency, the butler who did it?

With the help of food critic friend Arthur Wordington-Smythe, a large kipper sandwich, and the newly formed Cochon Rouge Wine Appreciation Society, Chef Maurice must get to the bottom of matters before events turn decidedly sour…


J.A. Lang

About This Author

J.A. Lang is a British mystery writer, and author of the ChefMaurice Mysteries series.

She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

Author Links

J.A. Lang’s Website
J.A. Lang on Goodreads
J.A. Lang on Facebook

BONUS:
Download the free prequel to the series, Chef Maurice and the Rather Fishy Tale!

Enter the giveaway!Chef Maurice Giveaway


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THE MUSUBI MURDER August 2015 Amazon / B&N /Powell’s /Audible / iTunes