Under the Spotlight – The Authors of #25KillerCozies

teaser-image-general-social-media-size-box-set-cover-pre-order-no-outlets-redI’m one of the authors participating in the challenge to get a new 25-novel cozy mystery boxed set onto the USA Today Bestseller List. It’s called 25 Mysteries to Die For and will be available from December 27th. And it’s just 99¢/99p!

If you’re interested in adding hours of cozy mystery reading to your ereader for a bargain price, and helping us to achieve our goal at the same time, you can pre-order it right now for Nook or Kobo. (Coming soon for iBooks and Kindle).

You may already know some of the featured authors but, if you don’t, here’s a chance to find out a little more about each of them. Check back often, I’ll be posting a new interview every day until the boxed set is launched.

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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

In today’s interview, I welcome…ME! My Cozy Mystery, Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

Sherri, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in London and lived in the UK until my husband and I moved to Spain fifteen years ago.

I left my job as an events organiser when we moved to sunnier climes, having decided one cold and rainy night that we both fancied a complete life change. Decision made, we flew out to Spain the following month and bought a café bar on a marina in southern Spain which, incidentally, was the inspiration behind my cozy mystery series.

We had a wonderfully happy six years at the café. However, the hours we worked gave us little time to truly appreciate the wonderful country we now call home so, after much discussion, we decided to sell up and take a little time out to travel.

It was during our wanderings that the writing bug which had bitten me when I was young got under my skin again so, when we returned, I got straight to it, in between working as a cook in a bar.

I achieved a lifelong dream when my first book, ‘Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse’ was published in May 2015.

Apart from writing, I love to cook, read and spend time with friends, family and our adorable rescue dog, George.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

Yes, I’ve always loved to write. When I was six, I used to write short stories for family members which I’d force them to sit through as I read them out loud. When I was fourteen, I wrote a short book about a boy wizard called David Moon. If only J. K. Rowling hadn’t got there first!

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on book seven in my cozy mystery series and have just started a collection of short stories in collaboration with another author.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I think book two in the series is my favourite. I’m a huge animal lover, and a big softie so, without giving anything away, writing that book gave me a huge amount of pleasure.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

In recent years, all of J. K. Rowling’s books. Even though I write in a different genre, I love her writing and I find her personal story a huge inspiration. When I was very young, though, I rarely went anywhere without an Enid Blyton book under my arm.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

For me, the most challenging parts are keeping to deadlines (which I’m hopeless at) and getting started on new stories. Coming up with plots, twists and red herrings that are fresh and entertaining is what takes the most time, and the most brain power! Without doubt, the most rewarding is hearing from readers who enjoy the stories.

What book is on your nightstand?

Currently, there are two. ‘Land Girls’ by Angela Huth, and ‘A Walk in the Woods’ by Bill Bryson. I always read more than one book at once.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Book seven in my current series, a new cozy mystery series and the short story collection I mentioned earlier.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Although my books are light-hearted reads, they are all mysteries with a twist, waiting to be solved. As cooking is one of my passions, it made sense to write a series with a culinary theme, although food is not the main focus of the books. That said, recipes are included.

Most of all, though, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s taken a chance on my books. I hope they’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website http://sherribryan.com

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/sherribryanauthor

Twitter http://twitter.com/sbryanauthor

AUTHOR BIO

Born in London, I was bitten by the writing bug very early in life.
Spurred on by an over-active imagination, I couldn’t stop the stories that were flowing onto pages when I was just six years old. Thankfully, that’s as far as they got.

Despite being a voracious reader, it wasn’t until years later that I discovered the cozy mystery genre by pure chance when I accidentally downloaded the wrong book onto my Kindle. I’d never even heard of cozy mysteries but I read the book anyway and I knew there and then that I’d found the genre I wanted to write in. My first book followed a few months later in May 2015.

As cooking is also one of my passions, I was delighted that I could incorporate it into my stories, all of which make up my culinary cozy mystery series, and all of which include a selection of recipes.

When I’m not scribbling down ideas for new stories, or tapping away on my laptop, you’ll most likely find me with my nose in a book, rustling up something experimental in the kitchen or out with my beautiful rescue dog, George.

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Tapas, Carrot Cake and a Corpse by Sherri Bryan is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cozy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Savannah Mae, whose Cozy Mystery, Mayhem in Jinx Cove, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

mayhem-in-jinx-cove-savannah-maeSavannah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Savannah Mae. I’m new to self-publishing, but not new to writing professionally. For the last decade, I’ve been writing articles for multiple publications and for websites. I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing a book but pushed the thought out of my head. Earlier this year, I turned forty and declared that this year of my life would be a year of saying no to fear. I did what I thought was impossible and started writing cozy mysteries.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I don’t recall any specific moment when I realized I’d wanted to write. I do, however, remember each and every time I convinced myself otherwise. Intuitively, I think I always believed it would happen someday.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the second book in my Jinx Cove witches series. The first book is included in this 25-novel bundle.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite is the only one I’ve completed thus far, Mayhem in Jinx Cove. I’ve probably read it a dozen times or more. I’m proud of what I’ve created and hope readers enjoy it.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I love mysteries. When I was growing up, the Nancy Drew series and the Hardy Boys series were staples on my bookshelves. I read them over and over again.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part for me was working up the courage to let others read it. Handing it off to beta readers and editors was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

The most rewarding part is the process. I loved getting out of my daily routine and letting my imagination run wild.

What book is on your nightstand?

I’m currently rereading Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone’s Alphabet Series.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

In 2017, I plan on releasing the next two novels in my series.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I want to thank them for taking the time to get to know me and I hope they’ll love Mayhem in Jinx Cove as much as I do.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website/blog – http://savannahmaemysteries.blogspot.co.uk/

(Savannah is a new author, so she doesn’t have an official website yet, and no FB or Twitter as yet.)

AUTHOR BIO

Savannah Mae is the author of the Jinx Cove cozy mystery series. Purveyor of quirky, kooky, charming cozy mysteries and the mayhem that surrounds them.

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Mayhem in Jinx Cove by Savannah Mae is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

In today’s interview, I welcome Pepper Hayes, whose Cozy Mystery, Running on Empty, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Pepper Hayes, whose Cozy Mystery, Mayhem in Jinx Cove, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

Pepper, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m Pepper Hayes. I like to think of myself as a mom who writes. Cozy Mysteries are a new venture for me. I’m a converted romance writer. I’ve written over thirty romance novels under another name, but found that I’d grown tired of the angst and was craving something light and fun.

I’m a mother of four. I live in beautiful Washington state, minutes from the Canadian border. When I’m not writing, I can be found multitasking. I’m what you might consider a champion in that regard. I can do laundry, clean a kitchen, tend to the children, and binge-watch Netflix while simultaneously burning dinner.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

When I was young, my family moved quite a bit. I think I went to at least a dozen different schools before middle school. Books were my friends. Somewhere around the third of fourth grade, I decided I’d one day write. Back then, my dream was to be a journalist like my mother, but that dream changed after I spent many years sitting behind a desk in the business office of a major city newspaper.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing the next book in my The Young & Breathless mysteries about lifelong friends who unwittingly became amateur sleuths while training for their first 5k race.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite was the first book I ever wrote. It’s kind of a funny story. My marriage had come to an end and I was out of sorts. Rather than wallow in my pain, I took pen to paper and wrote a book about a woman in my predicament. That book has never been published. I’m not sure that it ever will be, but it’s my most personal project. I wrote it in 18 days. It was very cathartic for me. Perhaps one day I’ll be brave enough to pull it out of a drawer and read it.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I just love that book. It took me to another world. I read it once a year.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging thing is finding time to write. Because I have kids at home and a household to run, there’s never enough time.

The most rewarding thing is typing The End. What an accomplishment that is!

What book is on your nightstand?

Currently, I’m reading writing craft books.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

More books! I hope to publish three new novels in my series in the coming year.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. I can’t wait to share my books with you!

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/Pepper-Hayes-353535498327031 

AUTHOR BIO

Pepper Hayes is a native of Western Nebraska but now makes her home just south of the Canadian border in Washington state, where she spends her days honing her skills as a super mom and a someday marathon runner and spends her nights writing cozy mysteries. On the rare occasions when she’s not tending to her all male flock, she can be found sitting in her favorite chair, binge-watching Netflix.

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Running on Empty by Pepper Hayes is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Nikki Haverstock, whose Cozy Mystery, Lights, Camera, Murder, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

nikki-haverstock-author-picNikki, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live on the family’s cattle ranch with my husband and far too many family members J  I like to get involved in a variety of adventures. I love the sciences and technology. I’ve competed at the national level in archery for years. I travelled the world in college studying volcanoes. I taught computer science and archery at a college for 9 years. I am an executive producer for an indy horror movie.  And I’m pregnant.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always loved the idea of crafting stories but it wasn’t until several friends started writing that it occurred to me that maybe I could do it as well.  It has been a lot of hard work but I love the process.

What are you currently working on?

My biggest project is that I am pregnant and due in early December.  This will be our first child and we feel unbelievably blessed.  Though I am working slower than normal, I am still writing.  Reality TV Mysteries two is in edits and should be released before Baby Haverstock arrives. I am also drafting Target Practice Mysteries book six and plotting two co-writing projects for 2017.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite is Lights, Camera, Murder: Target Practice Mysteries 1 which is in this bundle.  I hosted a competitive target archery reality show in 2013 and this book was my chance to revisit that crazy experience and really take it to a new level.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I loved Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie and countless other fun adventures with lots of madcap characters and situations. Agatha Christie always crafted these nuanced books and let the clues organically appear. I’ve also been deeply affected by TV sitcoms.  I loved the idea that everything would be okay in the end but you would laugh on the way there.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

Starting is always a struggle whether it is the start of a book, start of a new work week or even the start of the day.

Finishing a rough draft is so rewarding as is publishing.  It’s still so amazing to me that I can write all those words!

What book is on your nightstand?

I just finished Martin Short’s memoir on my kindle. I’ve been on a memoir kick of comics who write their own material.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

A lot more cozy mysteries, for sure.  I have some cross over books planned with other amazing authors and if everything goes according to plan, I will have a new series launched in 2017.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

If you have any baby advice or jokes, post it on my facebook fan page.  I’m sure I’ll need it.

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RancherNikki

Website: http://nikkihaverstock.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RancherNikki

Instagram: https://www.youtube.com/user/RancherNikki

AUTHOR BIO

Nikki Haverstock is a writer who lives on a cattle ranch high in the Rocky Mountains. She has studied comedy writing at Second City and has published 6 cozy mysteries that are heavy on the humor.

Before fleeing the city, she hosted a competitive archery reality show, traveled the world to study volcanoes, taught archery and computer science at a university and now works on her family’s ranch herding cattle. Nikki has more college degrees than she has sense and hopefully one day she will put one to work.

Nikki likes to write comedy pieces that focus on the everyday humor of one-uppers, annoying family members and strange behavior of the ultra-rich. She tried stand up but the cattle weren’t impressed.

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Lights, Camera, Murder by Nikki Haverstock is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Nell Goddin, whose Cozy Mystery, The Luckiest Woman Ever, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

nell-goddin-author-pic-1Nell, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

At the moment I’m deep into mysteries and really enjoying figuring out ways to cover the tracks of criminals, researching poisons, and thinking about sociopaths. So I spend my time thinking about totally degenerate behavior! In my non-writing life, I have a big garden, too many ill-behaved pets, and unruly teenagers–very messy but all good.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I started my first novel at age 8 (didn’t get very far…) and never considered doing anything else.

What are you currently working on?

I’m halfway into book #6 of the Molly Sutton Mystery Series. No title yet…

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I’d have to say the first book in the Molly Sutton Series is my favorite, even though the mysteries themselves get better as the series progresses. It’s my favorite because I started it on a trip to France. I was staying at an AirBnB in a small village on the Mediterranean coast, in a bungalow attached to an artist’s house. I was so blissfully happy to be there, loved meeting the artist and wandering around the village–it was like the book just fell into my lap, and all I had to do was open it and start writing it down.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Probably F. Scott Fitzgerald and Patricia Highsmith. An odd pair.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

At this point in my life (no spring chicken!), the most challenging part is remembering the details of what’s going on in the book I’m writing. The most rewarding is always losing myself in a story when the characters come alive and start bossing me around.

What book is on your nightstand?

The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

My next project is going to be standalone, a more literary crime/suspense novel rather than straight-up mystery. I’ll keep writing the mystery series too.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I daydream about moving to France, opening a gîte business, and having my readers come stay with me. (Just like my protagonist…)

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: www.nellgoddin.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nellgoddinauthor

Twitter: twitter is http://www.twitter.com/nellgoddin

AUTHOR BIO

Nell Goddin has worked as a radio reporter, SAT tutor, short-order omelet chef, and baker. She tried waitressing but was fired twice.

Nell grew up in Richmond, Virginia and has lived in New England, New York City, and France. Currently she’s back in Virginia with teenagers and far too many pets. She has degrees from Dartmouth College and Columbia University.

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The Luckiest Woman Ever by Nell Goddin is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Nicole Marie Howell, whose Cozy Mystery, Murder Any Witch Way, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

n-m-howell-author-picNicole, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I like to consider myself a compulsive creative. I’m always making something, whether it’s writing a book, designing a building (day job), laying out a magazine (other day job), designing and building costumes, taking photos, etc…

I’m currently in my eighth and final year of university, and am studying to be an architect. The dream is to design and build houses in the woods to write in! But, you know, I’ll probably design things for other people to use, as well.😉

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always love writing, but it wasn’t until the end of this past summer that I considered writing as a career. I had a two-week break after the summer term of my work contract ended in August, and I sat down and decided to write my first full-length book. It was called Murder Any Witch Way, which is included in our upcoming 25 Mysteries to Die For boxed set. Since then, I’ve written three more books in the past two months, and have an ambitious writing schedule for the rest of the year. Consider me hooked!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the third book in my Brimstone Bay Mysteries series, and the first book in a new urban fantasy series. I’m hoping to have both completed by the end of November – sort of a double NaNoWriMo target. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but I think I’m just stubborn enough to make it happen. I’m also in the process of editing a fantasy romance serial I wrote last year, and will be publishing it as a complete book this month. It’s called Winter Reign, and it was just something I wrote on the side while in school. I never planned on publishing it, but decided I might as well give it a shot! It was truly an exploration into new language and writing styles, and is very different from the other books I write.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I have a sci fi series I write under a pen name that I really enjoy. Sci Fi was new to me, so I learned a lot and really pushed past my comfort zone. I also really love the characters in my mystery series, and enjoy writing it a lot. I’m also extremely excited to write Demon World, my new urban fantasy series I mentioned above. There are a lot of parallels between the main character in that series and myself, so I think I’ll really have a blast writing it.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

It’s funny, because I was never a reader growing up. As a kid, I much preferred writing a story to reading a story. I’m much the same today, actually. I love to read, but I find after a few minutes into a good book, my mind is racing with new ideas and I often find myself writing instead of finishing the book. I have to really discipline myself to keep the pencil down so I can finish a book.

My favourite genre to read is fantasy, and I loved the Lord of the Rings books. I’m currently reading Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m also a huge fan of George R.R. Martin and early Laurell K. Hamilton books.

In terms of what’s influenced my writing the most recently, I’d say that would be the many amazing books I’ve been reading by my fellow indie authors that are part of a number of fantastic Facebook groups I’m a member of. It’s inspiring reading their work, and hearing their stories of how they’ve published, and what they’ve gone through to make it as a full-time author.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

To me, the most challenging part of writing is sticking to one book. I seem to always have at least four or five books on the go at any given time, and I bounce back and forth between them based on my mood. This month I’m going to try and stick to each book exclusively until they’re finished. I also find editing difficult, as once I’m finished the first draft of a manuscript, I get so excited to move on to the next project that sometimes I don’t spend enough time catching all the errors in what I’ve previously written. The goal for 2017 is to hire an editor.

What book is on your nightstand?

Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind. Beautiful book!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I’m launching two new urban fantasy series in January, and a third next spring. I’ll be spending next year bouncing back and forth between these three new series, and of course my Brimstone Bay Mysteries. The goal is one to two books per month. I write fast, and love the challenge of meeting daily word counts. I’m also working on an epic fantasy trilogy set 1,000 years prior to one of the urban fantasy series I’ll be launching in January. The first book is called Mists of Shaeyara, and you can keep an eye out for that around the middle of next year.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Perhaps just the fact that I’m new to all of this, so go easy on me! I love hearing from readers, and truly value feedback on my books. I’m a firm believer that you are never done learning, and I consider each book I write to be a stepping stone towards building my skills as a writer. Even in the past two months, I’ve noticed my writing style change and my speed improve. Writing is a journey, and I’m loving every minute of it. Oh, also… I’m Canadian! But I typically write my books in American English.

AUTHOR LINKS

Author website: https://www.amazon.com/author/nmhowellbooks

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/nikk0marie

Facebook: https://www.fb.com/nikkomariecosplay

AUTHOR BIO

N.M. Howell is an emerging author from the West Coast of Canada. Writing primarily fantasy and paranormal mystery, she also dabbles in the occasional romance. When not spending her time writing books, she’s busy playing with her micro-wolf pup, Mica, or working on her Master’s thesis.

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Murder Any Witch Way by Nicole Marie Howell is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome N Gemini Sasson, whose Cozy Mystery, Memories and Matchsticks, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

n-gemini-sasson-author-picGemini, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure, but it’ll seem like I have fifteen different personalities. Bear in mind that I get bored easily, so I’m always doing something.  I’m a lifelong runner (Boston Marathon qualifier), a Cross Country coach, a reformed home remodeler, and an avid gardener just trying to keep ahead of the weeds. I’m also a dog sport enthusiast and have raised, trained, shown, and judged Australian Shepherds for nearly three decades – which obviously means I started in the dog show world when I was three. *cough*

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

Fifteen years old, as I was getting my fingers stuck between the keys of an old manual Royal typewriter in my closet. I never got more than two pages into a story then before I lost focus. It took another twenty years before I actually completed a book. My children were toddlers and I needed to escape without actually leaving the house.

What are you currently working on?

Another Sam McNamee Mystery, of course! The characters that keep showing up in those stories provide plenty of material.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

That’s like asking which of my children is my favorite. I love them all, in different ways. My historicals were my posterity projects. My Faderville books make me ponder life more deeply. And my mysteries are just plain fun to write. But of all of them, Say That Again is probably my favorite. It involves an autistic girl, a recycled dog, and a reclusive neighbor. The response from readers was heartwarming.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

The Three Musketeers, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and A Dog’s Purpose.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging aspects are avoiding distraction and starting a new book. I love the momentum that builds when I get about a third of the way in, but just getting the boulder rolling… not so much. And while working at home is great, you have to learn to say ‘no’ more often than you’d like, sometimes to the point where you feel anti-social.

The most rewarding thing is when readers just ‘get it’. When that message you threaded throughout the story moves them, makes them laugh or even cry – that connection is why I write.

What book is on your nightstand?

Nothing. At any time I have a dozen books on the TBR pile of my Kindle. I’d read faster, but then I’d have to write less. Currently I’m reading Nicole Galland’s Stepdog, a romantic comedy, and am thoroughly loving it. I have eclectic tastes: non-fiction, suspense, mysteries, dystopian SciFi, and anything with a dog in it.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

More standalone dog stories from the Faderville series and at least a few more Sam McNamee books. I’ll stop writing those two series when the ideas quit coming. Which hopefully will be never.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Be more like your dog: nap when you need to, play for the sheer joy of it, and forgive easily, because life’s too short to be a grump.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link – www.ngeminisasson.com

Facebook Link (author page) – www.facebook.com/NGeminiSasson

Twitter Link – www.twitter.com/NGeminiSasson

AUTHOR BIO

Gemini Sasson is a serial remodeler, intrepid gardener, runner, and dog lover. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and an ever-changing number of animals.

Long after writing about Robert the Bruce and Queen Isabella, Sasson learned she is a descendant of both.

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Memories and Matchsticks by N Gemini Sasson is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Maggie West, whose Cozy Mystery, Hook, Line & Stinker, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

maggie-west-author-picMaggie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a copyeditor and writer and mostly a big fan of fiction! I think it’s the escape from the everyday that I love so much about fiction. I’ve read so much fiction that I think the next logical step was to write it. As hobbies, I love antiques and crafting and sewing. I also love playing with my energetic kitten and taking walks.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I would stay in at recess in second grade to write letters to my mom. Those letters weren’t terribly exciting, but I enjoyed it more than playing tag on the playground!

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on another installment in my Antique Pickers in Paradise Cozy Mystery series. These are short reads so are perfect for reading while commuting or waiting at appointments or just for a quick read you can read all in one sitting. I love putting Sherri and Carol in awkward situations (usually there’s a dead body involved) and seeing how they handle it.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I really like my antique pickers cozy series and so far, my first book, Picked to Death, is my favorite. In Picked to Death, I got to develop the characters of Sherri, Carol, Ralph, and Leon and fix the people who in the small Midwestern town of Paradise.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I am basically nosey and love to read about real people’s lives. In elementary school the library had biographies of famous people and I read them all. Fiction, to me, is just an extension of real life. It may not have happened exactly as written, but it’s fun to take snippets from life and use them to create characters and scenarios that could happen.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

I have trouble plotting before I start writing. I have an idea of what the story will be but often it switches course and ends up somewhere else. And that’s okay! Finishing is good. Good and rewarding!

What book is on your nightstand?

I’m reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. It’s wonderful!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Right now I’m concentrating on my Antique Pickers series but would like to dust off some standalone novels I wrote several years ago and publish at least one of those.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

You rock! That’s what this whole writing business is all about after all. Readers make writers complete!

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link:  http://www.maggiewestbooks.com

Facebook Link (author page) https://www.facebook.com/MaggieWestAuthor

Twitter Link  https://twitter.com/MaggieWestBooks

AUTHOR BIO

Maggie West is the author of the Antique Pickers in Paradise cozy mystery series and the Lily Thistle cozy mystery series, the Doorways to the Past time travel series, and several romance books. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves to craft and sew, keep her kitten out of trouble (oh boy, good luck with that!), and take walks where she dreams up new stories.

hook-line-stinker

Hook, Line & Stinker by Maggie West is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Lisa B. Thomas whose Cozy Mystery, Sharpe Mind, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

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Lisa, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Born and raised in Texas, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Finally, after thirty-three years as a high school Journalism and English teacher, I released my first novel. Having grown up reading Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the mystery genre.

With two grown children out of the nest, I live a quiet life with my husband and Peekapoo puppy. Besides writing, I enjoy my grandchildren, photography, traveling, and antiquing (buying and selling used junk).

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

When I was a wee child, I wrote a book about goldfish. I later started a mystery. As a journalism major, I always wanted to write in some form or fashion. It wasn’t until I retired that I became interested in fiction. My first book was inspired by a true-life mystery in my own family.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on Book 5 in my series. It should be a fun one!

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

Sharpe Shooter is probably my favorite because it has a personal connection to my own family. I love the main character of Deena and her husband and brother.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Agatha Christie’s books of course, as well as Stephen King’s. Both authors are master storytellers.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part of writing is making sure the mystery has enough clues but is still a puzzle to be solved. The most rewarding is when I hear from readers who tell me to “write faster” because they want more.

What book is on your nightstand?

Harlan Coben’s “Whispers in the Wind.” I love his books.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I may be starting a new series with a character from two of my books.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

The setting of my series, Maycroft, Texas, is a fictional town. However, it represents a typical southern locale with authentic characters and situations. Hopefully there aren’t as many murders in most small towns!

AUTHOR LINKS

Email: LBThomas606@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LisaBThomasAuthor

Twitter: @LBThomas2

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00UGED9FS

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbt606/cozy-mysteries-more/

Check out my “Cozy Mysteries and more” board on Pinterest. I pin lots of books, gifts, quotes, and decor for book lovers like me.

Subscribe to my newsletter using the form on the sidebar. You will receive a free copy of My Dead Relatives, a collection of non-fiction stories about my family. One of the stories, “Skeleton in the Closet,” tells the true life story behind Sharpe Shooter, Book 1 in the Maycroft Mystery Series.

AUTHOR BIO

Born and raised in Texas, Lisa Thomas always knew she wanted to be a writer. Finally, after thirty-three years as a high school Journalism and English teacher, she released her first novel. Having grown up reading Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie, she was drawn to the mystery genre. With two grown children out of the nest, she lives a quiet life with her husband and Peekapoo puppy. Besides writing, she enjoys her grandchildren, photography, traveling, and antiquing (aka – buying and selling used junk).

sharpe-mind

Sharpe Mind by Lisa B Thomas is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome J. D. Winters whose Cozy Mystery, Even Witches Get the Blues, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

j-d-winters-author-picJ. D, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Pasadena, California, grew up on islands—first Balboa Island in CA, then Guam in the Pacific. Back to CA for college, married a Geology student and followed him to Washington DC while he did 5 years in the Army. I worked at the National Geographic while there, came back to CA while my husband finished his degree in Geochemistry, began a degree myself in Library Science, but got preggers and began to focus on babies. Much more fun!

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always been a writer, one way or another. I didn’t begin making it my full time endeavor until I had young children and wanted to find a way to make a decent living and yet be able to stay home with my four little ones. Romance was selling—isn’t it always? And after a lot of reading and a lot of writing, I began to sell my stories, first to Jove’s Second Chance at Love, then to Harlequin, Silhouette, Bantam, Dell—anyone who would have me! I got some rights back to old books about three years ago, left traditional publishing, rewrote those books and self published them.

What are you currently working on?

Now I’m writing cozy mysteries. I’ve got three different series going. It all began with Mele Keahi, my half Hawaiian amateur sleuth who sees ghosts and is searching to find out what happened to her mother long ago.  My second series features Haley Greco, newly returned to life after a mysterious accident in order to help save her community and town of oddballs, vampires and gremlins of all sorts. Number 3 began as an experiment in shorter stories, hoping to get them out more quickly, but somehow I have the feeling the length is just going to grow on its own. Three sisters are left a magic tea shop along with a black cat familiar by their grandmother and must deal with the animosity of a pair of evil witches who run a competing coffee shop down the street. Fun stories—fun to write!

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I love them all—but whatever I’m writing now is always my favorite.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Anything by Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, John Galsworthy.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The hardest part is finding the time and solitude to immerse myself in the world I need to visit in order to write the story.  The most rewarding is to see people enjoying that world almost as much as I do.

What book is on your nightstand?

Right now, I’m reading the Haunting Danielle series of mysteries by Bobbie Holmes. Once you read one, you have to read them all!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I’m hoping to branch out to more mystery series—have a few ideas percolating.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

The joy of reading! I have a grandchild who’s just discovered it and it has changed her world.

This book is in a series which is being co-written by the illusive Dakota Kahn, who helps with outlines, gives me jokes and explains to me how magic works. Without Dakota, I’d be stumped.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link http://jdwinterscozy.com/

Facebook Link (author page) https://www.facebook.com/JdWintersCozies/

Twitter Link @HelenMCon

AUTHOR BIO

J.D. Winters is a pen name for Helen Conrad, an award-winning, USA Today Bestselling Author of more than 100 romances published under various pseudonyms with Harlequin, Silhouette, Loveswept and others–as well as the extensive series, Destiny Bay Romances. Cozy mysteries are a new venture, less romance, but more fun!

even-witches-get-the-blues

Even Witches Get the Blues by J. D. Winters is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Geraldine Evans whose Cozy Mystery, The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

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Geraldine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Geraldine Evans, and I’m a British writer. I’ve been published traditionally, off and on, since 1991 (Hale, Macmillan, Severn House, St Martin’s Press and Worldwide (US), which means I’m an author of a certain vintage!

My main detective is DI Joe Rafferty, who comes from a family who think – if they must have a copper in their midst – he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. So there’s a fair bit of humour in them given Rafferty’s recent promotion, his sidekick, a moralistic Welshman, who thinks the law should apply to everyone—including the mothers of detective inspectors. Then there’s the rest of his family, who mostly don’t see eye-to-eye with him regarding the letter of the law. All complicated by murder.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

When I was young, I thought people like me didn’t become writers – working-class, council house raised, blah, blah – so it wasn’t till I’d got this thinking out of my system, around my mid-twenties, that I made my first tentative attempts to be a writer. I say tentative, because I never actually finished anything. It took hitting the milestone age of thirty to achieve that—and then I went for broke. I wrote a novel each year for six years (fitted around the day job). The final one of the six was accepted by Hale in 1991. That was a romance.

But then they rejected my follow-up. I don’t know how you’d have felt, but I was all for murdering someone! So I did. I created Dead Before Morning, #1 in my almost eighteen-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn Mystery Series. It was accepted in 1993, on only its second slush pile outing, by Macmillan.

What are you currently working on?

Number 18 of my Rafferty series, which has been a bit of a stop/start effort, as I’ve had to keep putting it aside for marketing and all the work that involves. Then, I really must do what I promised one of my readers, and get on and write #3 in my Casey & Catt Mystery series. I’ve rather let this one languish on the vine, and I shouldn’t. I would also like to write a second biographical historical novel. My first, Reluctant Queen, was about the infamous Henry VIII’s little sister, Mary Rose. It’s taken me a while to find somebody who isn’t written about by everyone.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

Of the mystery novels, I’ve several favourites: Dying For You #6 Rafferty—where my DI becomes chief suspect in his own murder inquiry. Death Line #4 Rafferty, wherein there was a nifty bit of footwork on my part—especially as I’ve only a tentative grasp of arithmetic. And Blood on the Bones #9 Rafferty, when my hero is unwillingly reacquainted with Catholicism.

My bio historical, Reluctant Queen. I love the Tudor period, but so many of the characters from that era have been done to death (literally, in plenty of cases). So I knew, when I learned a little more about Mary Rose, I was sure I had the Tudor that fitted my bill—not done to death, and a sufficiently interesting life to encourage the masses of research required.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

On the mystery side, it would have to be Cynthia Harrod Eagles, Reginald Hill, and Ruth Dudley-Edwards. Harrod Eagles is a fabulously witty writer, and her Atherton is the perfect foil for her main character, Bill Sider. Reginald Hill is also a very witty writer, and in his Andy Dalziel has created a nigh-on perfect character. And Ruth Dudley-Edwards with her Baroness Troutbeck character, has created a divine flouter of rules. I do like a good flout! It’s why I wrote both my mystery series.

Sharon Penman is my all-time-favourite as an author of historicals: the history, the characters, the dialogue—all brilliant. Jean Plaidy was the writer who introduced me to history, and from whom I learned my love of both historical fiction and non-fiction. She was a prolific writer, covered everyone who was anyone, so I’d like to pay a tribute to her, too.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging is everything but the writing! The emails. Oh the emails. If I have to leave them for a day I’m swamped with 200-300 of the blessed things, and it takes me a several days (and then some) to plough through them. Meanwhile, the new mail is piling up.

The marketing, which is another relentless time grab. Sometimes, I don’t know how I manage to do any writing at all. You’ll laugh (or perhaps not if you’re a Rafferty fan, eagerly awaiting my next opus), but I’ve been trying to write #18 Rafferty since January, and I haven’t even got a tricky plot hole as an excuse. How other authors write a book every month, I can’t imagine. I like to write amusing dialogue, and you need to hit on just the right combination of words, and they’ve got to be the perfect words, in the perfect order, no stand-ins will do. The trouble is, it can take days, sometimes, before you can get hold of those words which slide away the second you reach for them. Definitely on the challenging side of the equation.

The most rewarding is obviously the writing—when I can get at it. I’ve mostly been a seat-of-pants writer, though nowadays I generally write a brief plot plan, if only to lessen the snags, pitfalls and rewriting. That said, there’s nothing so satisfying as writing yourself out of a plot hole as a pantser. I go around with a grin for days. Or if I hit upon a nifty bit of dialogue by-play and manage to seize hold of it immediately.

What book is on your nightstand?

I’m currently reading The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman (for about the fourth time—love that book). It’s about the Plantagenet’s, Edward IV and Richard III, all their friends and enemies (sometimes one and the same), and the Wars of the Roses.

On the mystery side, I’ve so many awaiting my attention that I hardly know where to start. But I will. Janet Evanovich’s latest. Love her Stephanie Plum. Then there’s Harrod-Eagles. I mostly read on my Kindle now, or my Fire, and I have an in-built resistance to paying over the odds for digital books. But I invariably give in on my favourites.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

The #18 Rafferty that I mentioned earlier (other things being equal). The second historical (ditto), and the #3 Casey & Catt (I do hate to be repetitive, but ditto again).

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

One thing that I’d like to make clear–I started to write my Rafferty & Llewellyn series in 1991/2, after I received an unexpected rejection from Hale, and it was published by Macmillan in 1993. So when Lewis, the off-shoot from Morse, began, my series was already in its second decade and more. So when readers/reviewers compare the two, they should say that the Lewis series reminds them of my Rafferty, not the other way round. It might sound picky, but us writers are sensitive souls. Each time I get a comment like that in the reviews it’s like a dart to my heart. I feel like writing a comment to that effect beneath the review. So far I’ve resisted the temptation, but oh, my poor, holey heart.

That said, I love my readers. Even with the dart-to-heart remarks, they mostly say lovely things, and help me resist the urge mentioned above.

I know how difficult it is to compose reviews—I’ve written a few myself, so am familiar with the angst involved. I think it’s awesome when they take the trouble. Why would they bother? Why not just move on to the next book? I don’t know—but it’s serious Wow! factor time when they do. So—thank you. It’s very humbling and, at the same time, very elevating. I’m floating on air when another reader says they love my characters. Because I do, too.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website/Blog: http://geraldineevansbooks.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@gerrieevans

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Geraldine.Evans.Cime.Author/

AUTHOR BIO

Geraldine Evans is a multi-published mystery author who has had eighteen novels traditionally published. Her publishers include Macmillan and St Martin’s Press. But in 2010, she made the momentous decision to turn indie. Since then, she has published all of her backlist in digital format, including her Rafferty & Llewellyn and Casey & Catt detective series, as well as creating new, original to kindle works. Geraldine also writes biographical historical novels.

Although originally a Londoner, she now lives in an old market town in Norfolk, England, where she moved with George, her late husband, in 2000.

death-line

Death Line by Geraldine Evans is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Frankie Bow whose Cozy Mystery, The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

frankie-bow-author-picFrankie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Like my protagonist, I actually am a professor in a business school. But I did not model Professor Molly after me. I’m kind of a risk-averse person who lives a sensible life, and I wanted my character to be a little more out there. So I thought, let’s start with a normal person and then dial up the neuroticism, obsessiveness, impulsiveness, and social awkwardness. So of course now everyone thinks she is me.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

It started with reading. I love murder mysteries. Especially cozy mysteries. So one day I was reading a pretty well-known cozy while I was exercising on the elliptical machine. So as I’m reading, there’s some pun in the narrative and the author said something like “and everybody laughed and laughed” and I thought, this isn’t very funny and I could do better. So that was it, it was how it started. I thought, “I could do better than this. I could write my own murder mystery and it would be funnier.”

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m finishing up my latest novella in the Miss Fortune world, Bayou Busybody.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

Maybe The Black Thumb, because of a funny plot element centered around Molly trying to make an important decision. I can’t say more than that without spoiling it.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

If I had to pick, I’d say E.G. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia stories. What’s brilliant about them is that there’s all of this plotting and scheming over really trivial stakes. It’s a great model for writing about academia.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The hardest part is taking the outline and building it into the first draft. The most satisfying is doing the final polish. The most painful is having to excise big chunks of perfectly lovely writing that you worked really hard on, because it slows down the action.

What book is on your nightstand?

The Sybil in her Grave, by Sarah Caudwell. I’ve read all four of her mysteries several times. They’re beautifully written and still fun to read even when you already know who the murderer is.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I’m thinking of writing another Professor Molly mystery, tentatively titled “The Bundle of Joy,” but in the short term I’ll be working on the sequel to Bayou Busybody.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Thanks to Sleuth Cafe for hosting me and spreading the word about our cozy mystery box set!

AUTHOR LINKS

Website – www.frankiebow.com

Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorFrankieBow

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Frankie_Bow

AUTHOR BIO

Frankie Bow teaches at a public university and writes the Professor Molly Mysteries. Unlike Professor Molly, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing fiction, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Sign up for Frankie’s newsletter and get a Professor Molly short story.

case-of-the-defunct-adjunct

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct by Frankie Bow is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Elisabeth Crabtree whose Cozy Mystery, Two Dead Love Birds, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

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Elisabeth, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an avid mystery fan. I love mystery books, tv-shows, movies, and games. If it has a mystery in it, I’m happy. I especially like ones that include some romance as well.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I started writing in high school but the publishing process seemed daunting and I was rather busy preparing for college so I set it aside. It wasn’t until 2011 that I discovered Amazon publishing and decided to give writing another try. I wrote both Deadly Magic and Deadly Reunion in two years and published both at the end of 2012.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on my seventh Grace Holliday Cozy Mystery. She and Kyle were married in the last book and will be on their honeymoon in the next one.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

It’s really hard to pick a favorite. I really enjoyed writing Bad Kitty. That one has Kat investigating a murder at Canary Island while taking part in a cat competition with the Gazette’s office cat, Rooster. This was the first book in the Hatter’s Cove Gazette series that featured Rooster so it was a lot of fun to write. Another favorite of mine is Murder Games. I just love mystery games and mysteries that take place in old creepy houses. In that one Kyle and Grace go to a Victorian mansion on New Year’s to take part in a murder mystery weekend event. They get snowed in with a real murderer on the loose.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I love Agatha Christie and all of her mysteries. I grew up reading her books and have enjoyed every one of them.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part is finding time to write. I have a day job and a family so I struggle finding time to write. The most rewarding part are the fans. I really enjoy reading their messages and reviews.

What book is on your nightstand?

The Bible.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

More Hatter’s Cove and Grace Holliday mysteries. The next Grace Holliday will be out late 2016 or early 2017. I may go straight into another Grace Holliday book after that or I might start a Hatter’s Cove book. I haven’t decided yet.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I love hearing from my readers. It brings me such joy and I want to thank all of them for reading my stories.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website www.madlovepress.com

Facebook (author page) https://www.facebook.com/Elisabeth-Crabtree-Cozy-Mystery-Books-250993705085111

AUTHOR BIO

Elisabeth Crabtree is the author of the Grace Holliday Cozy Mystery Series and the Hatter’s Cove Mystery Series. As a life-long mystery fan, Elisabeth enjoys writing light, comedic mysteries with a touch of romance.

two-dead-love-birds

Two Dead Love Birds by Elisabeth Crabtree is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Colleen Cross, whose Cozy Mystery, Blue Moon, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

colleen-cross-author-picColleen, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

First of all, thank you for having me…it’s very nice to be here.

I live in Vancouver, on Canada’s southwest coast.  I’m a writer and a runner, a cat and dog fanatic (though my dog likes cats a little too much, lol), a traveller turned homebody (my life revolves around my dog), and a lover of all things nature and the great outdoors. We go to the beach and hike a lot, and then I come home to write. And naturally, I’m a bookworm. I read mostly mysteries, thrillers, and lots of nonfiction.

I am a graphic artist turned accountant turned writer. I have always been writing though, so I suppose I have finally come full circle to my true calling.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always written stories in my head and began writing (and illustrating) them soon after I learned how to write. In fact, the treehouse I imagined as a child lives on as Cendrine’s home in my Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series.  I never dreamed I could write for my day job though. It’s a dream come true!  When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on, so it was only natural that would go the DIY route and write my own stories! Back then, they tended towards fantasy.

What are you currently working on? 

I’m currently working on the third book in my Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series, Witch and Famous. It’s 100% cozy mystery with sprinkles of humour and fantasy. It’s so much fun to write that it often feels like my characters are coming up with their own lines, and sometimes they are rather cheeky! Since witches are magic, I get to make even more stuff up than usual!

I tend to do ten million things at once, so don’t be surprised if I come up with a completely new series or two while I’m working with the Westwick Witches. In fact, as I’m writing this I just thought up a brand new series! It’s a secret for now…

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favourite changes constantly because it’s always the book I’m currently writing. My very first book, Exit Strategy, will always be special to me of course. I’ve got books 4 and 5 in that series outlined and ready to write. I just need to find time to write them!

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

There are so many books that I don’t know where to start. As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. I also loved Russian classics but also Edgar Allen Poe. Most of all, though, I loved Black Beauty. That got me started reading all things horses, which was how I discovered My Friend Flicka and Mary O’Hara’s other books. I wrote to her (back then it was snail mail) and was so thrilled to get a reply from her!  Then I was in love with all things horses, even though I had never ridden one, and read every horse book I could find. Then it was every book about dogs…and I guess you can see why I usually have 2-3 books on the go at any given time. Cozy mysteries are always at the very top of my list along with psychological thrillers (as long as they aren’t too scary).

As an adult, my influences are more from writers like Lisa Scottoline, Kathy Reichs, and Tess Gerritsen, all great mystery / thriller writers. But it was those early reads that really got me hooked on reading, which in turn got me started writing in the first place. Great books in any genre transport us to a different world and give us different perspectives, and there are so many more I want to discover. I learn something from every book I read. I hope that never changes.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part for me is staying with my original story outline. I find that as the story develops some of the characters take over, so to speak, and take the plot in directions I never expected. As much as I try, I’ll never be a straight plotter. But that has its own rewards, since it often keeps the story fresh and provides me with surprise twist endings!

The most rewarding part is feedback from readers. I’m alone in my head with my characters until the book is published, so it’s always nice to know that readers enjoy my stories. Knowing that I kept someone guessing, made them laugh out loud, or otherwise entertained them and forget their worries is the greatest reward of all.

What book is on your nightstand?

I have a couple at the moment: The Secret Place, by Tana French, and The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Witch and Famous, the third book in the Westwick Witches Cozy Mysteries series, will be published in early 2017. I’ve got more books planned in all of my series, which run the gamut from cozy mysteries to crime thrillers. My absolute favourite to both read and write is cozy mysteries, though. I gravitate towards cozies whenever there is lots of bad news in the world. I like to inject a little humour into my stories, even into my thrillers, which are suspenseful but not dark.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Just that I’m happy to know you’re out there, that there are readers out there who “get” me and my quirky family of characters! I’m so grateful to be doing what I do for a living, and thank you for your reviews, feedback and support. I always love to hear from readers. You can find me here:

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.colleencross.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenxcross 

AUTHOR BIO

Colleen Cross writes page-turning thrillers and fun, cozy mysteries. She lives with her family on the West Coast. When she’s not writing, she loves to run, hike, and explore with her rescue dog Jaeger, who reminds her daily that life’s too short to not follow your dreams–or a squirrel or two.

Her books have been translated into multiple languages with more to come.

Visit her website at http://www.colleencross.com and sign up for her twice-yearly private newsletter to hear about new releases and exclusive subscriber-only offers.

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Blue Moon by Colleen Cross is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Carolyn L Dean, whose Cozy Mystery, Bed, Breakfast & Bones, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

carolyn-l-deanCarolyn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been an author for two years now, and am loving writing cozy mysteries!  I’ve written romance and nonfiction, but it has been so much fun to create an imaginary town where I’d want to live. I have a weakness for happy endings and oddball characters, so to discover that cozies are the sort of book I like to write has been amazing.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve known I wanted to write since grade school.  I distinctly remember coming home and announcing this to my Mom, who wasn’t terribly surprised.  I’d been telling stories around the dinner table since I could talk.  Yeah, I was that introverted kid who sometimes lived in a make-believe world and entertained herself at bedtime by making up entire plots of books, just to stay awake.

What are you currently working on?

The third book in my Ravenwood Cove is due out in December, and has a Christmas theme. That means I was listening to Christmas carols before Halloween!  I love the holidays, but I think I’m going to be really sick of Christmas music by Christmas Day.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

The first book, Bed, Breakfast, and Bones, is hands down my favorite.  When I was writing it felt like the characters were introducing themselves to me, opening up their secrets, and showing me where I could tell more of their story in the upcoming books.  I’ve been able to tuck in little bits of my own experiences and thoughts, and it’s been really fun to hear the positive feedback I get from readers when they discover things in the story. I feel like I could sit down for a coffee with any of the characters from Ravenwood Cove, and enjoy a nice chat J

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

This is going to sound like a cop out, but I have to say ALL of them.  I read everything from Ray Bradbury to Richard Brautigan to Agatha Christie.  Mix all that input with a ton of nonfiction reading and it makes for a very eclectic collection.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

I get up at 5 AM every weekday (and sometimes Saturdays) to write.  Dragging my backside out of a warm, comfy bed to try to be brilliant in front of laptop is an exercise in futility some mornings…

The most rewarding thing so far has been getting a chance to talk to the people who love cozy mysteries as much as I do!  They are a warm, fun bunch of people, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them on Facebook.

What book is on your nightstand?

Jan Karon’s “Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good” in hardback, a paperback in The Cat Who series, and about a zillion cozy mysteries loaded on my phone.  Hubby has to pry my phone away from me some nights so I’ll get some sleep J

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Oh, I have lots more adventure and people to write about in Ravenwood Cove!  Maybe someday I’ll be introducing some clean romances that are set in the same area, too.  Who doesn’t love a little romance at the beach?

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I would like to tell them how grateful I am for them taking a chance on a newer author, and reading my books.  I’ve been absolutely bowled over by how warm and welcoming they’ve been, and it encourages me to keep writing what the sort of book that I love to read!  Seriously, I think I have the best readers on the planet.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link  www.carolyndeanbooks.com

Facebook Link (author page) https://www.facebook.com/CarolynDeanBooks/

Twitter Link  @CarolynDeanBks

AUTHOR BIO

I’ve been writing and making stories in my head as early as I can remember. In third grade I came home, set my lunchbox down, and told my mother I wanted to be a writer. Luckily, Mom was supportive.

I’ve been a published author for a while now, under different names and genres, but the thought of writing about a small coastal town in Oregon, and about its loves and mysteries and holidays and people has been with me for years. To be honest, I am a bit scared to dump those ideas onto the written page, but hope you’ll enjoy getting to meet the people who inhabit my imagination.

In real life, I’m married with kids, live on the West Coast of the US, and own a hobby farm just outside of my favorite small town. I love to travel, and can often be found strolling down a windy Oregon beach, holding onto the string of a high-sailing dragon kite.

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Bed, Breakfast & Bones by Carolyn L Dean is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

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In today’s interview, I welcome Caroline Mickelson, whose Cozy Mystery, From Mangia to Murder, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

caroline-mickelson-author-picCaroline, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an avid reader, a mystery and romance author, and a mother / wrangler of four teenagers. I live in the American southwest, and after thirty years here, I’m still trying to appreciate the desert landscape and heat. I’m also a huge Agatha Christie fan, and Hercule Poirot is my literary hero.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

There was never a time when I wanted to be anything else. According to my mother, I was dictating stories to her before I learned to write.

What are you currently working on?

I’m at work on the next in the Sophia Mancini ~ Little Italy series. The title of the next book is ‘Lights Out in Little Italy’.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite is ‘From Mangia to Murder’ because I love the characters as well as the post-World War II period it’s set in. My grandfather was the first-born child of Italian immigrants and the story is a tribute to him.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Oh, so many! But if pressed to choose one author, it would have to be Agatha Christie. I’ve read and re-read all of her mysteries multiple times and I marvel at her story telling skill.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part of writing is actually sitting down to write every day. Because I so badly want to do justice to my ideas and characters, I often have to work through some resistance / perfectionist issues before I start typing. The most rewarding part of being a writer is hearing from readers who want to know when the next book is coming out – best compliment ever!

What book is on your nightstand?

My Kindle is the only thing on my nightstand. It’s chock full of books waiting to be read – but isn’t that true for everyone’s e-reader? I love finding a new-to-me mystery series, it’s like striking gold.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

More books in the Little Italy mystery series, and the start of a new series. I have ideas for three different series and I change my hourly about which path to take first. It’s a fun stage to be in.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I’d love to say thank you to any reader who spends time reading any of my books. Time is so precious for all of us, and I’m honored if readers choose to spend some time in my world. Thank you!

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.carolinemickelson.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012200737095

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/CarolineM67 

AUTHOR BIO

Caroline Mickelson loves her family and loves to write. She also loves a good adventure, among her favorites thus far were attending graduate school in a Scottish castle, riding a camel around the Pyramids in Giza, and taking a best-in-a-lifetime road trip to Graceland. Caroline lives in the American southwest with her husband and their four children, affectionately known as The Miracles.

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Mangia to Murder by Caroline Mickelson is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Ava Mallory, whose Cozy Mysteries, Mercy & Mayhem, Misbehaving, and Out on a Limb, are featured in the above mentioned box set.

ava-mallory-author-picAva, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Ava Mallory. I like to call myself a genre hoarder. Primarily, I write cozy mysteries, but because you can never have too many mysteries in life, I also write psychological thrillers and romantic thrillers.

Prior to writing full-time, I’ve worn many hats. I was a hospice nurse for twenty years while also raising children, chauffeuring children to activities, volunteering as a child advocate, and sub-contracting as a copywriter for a small publishing house.

Since I became a full-time writer, my life hasn’t changed much. I basically still do all of the above, but this go around, I do it in my pajamas. (Don’t tell my children that! J)

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

When I was 4 years old, my mother took my younger brother and I to a Storytime activity at our neighborhood library. I don’t know if that was the first time we’d gone or just the most memorable time. When the librarian walked in the room with a book in hand (a Dick and Jane book, if I recall correctly), I knew right then and there that I would grow up to be a writer.

As is often the case, life had other plans for me. I veered this way and that and found a long-time career as a hospice nurse, but I never once lost sight of my goal to become a full-time writer.

What are you currently working on?

I always have several projects going at once. I’m editing the next book in one of cozy mystery series now. I plan on publishing it in January. I’m also outlining a new novel for my thriller series and developing a new cozy mystery series to be released next fall.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I absolutely adore my Mercy & Mayhem novel. It’s the first in my A Mercy Mares cozy mystery series. It’s the most personal of my novels. Each character is loosely based on people I’ve met and/or worked with in my life.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I’m an eclectic reader. The books that have influenced me most are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, most of Agatha Christie’s works, and most recently, books by Emma Donoghue.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The most challenging part of writing for me is conquering my own fear. I think we all deal with fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being exposed. The most rewarding is finishing any project. Typing The End still makes me giddy every single time.

What book is on your nightstand?

(1.) The Silent Witness by Brittainy C. Cherry (2.) Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I plan on releasing three new cozy novels in the coming year. One will be the second book in my paranormal cozy mystery series and the other two will be new novels in my A Mercy Mares series.

I also write psychological thrillers under a pseudonym. I’ll have three releases for that pen name next year as well.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I’m thankful for each and every reader. Knowing that someone has read my work means the world to me. I love interacting with them and receiving feedback from them. I cannot wait to share new works with them and some fun perks for newsletter subscribers.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link writeravamallory.wix.com/avamallory

Facebook Link (author page) https://www.facebook.com/Ava-Mallory-1443761745884008/

Twitter Link https://twitter.com/avamallorypens 

AUTHOR BIO

In Ava Mallory’s world, chocolate is a vegetable and life is a great, big adventure!

When not writing mysteries, Ava can be found surfing the internet, binge-watching her favorite shows and movies, or corralling her children.

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Mercy & Mayhem, Misbehaving, and Out on a Limb by Ava Mallory are just three of the titles featured in a 25-novel cozy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

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In today’s interview, I welcome Anne R. Tan, whose Cozy Mystery, Breezy Friends and Bodies , is featured in the above mentioned box set.

anne-r-tan-author-picAnne, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I love to read more than write. I have to set up hard deadlines with preorders to motivate myself to write. If left on my own, I would rather spend my writing time on “research,” which basically is reading books in my favorite genres.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

When I was in seventh grade, I had a burning desire to grow to be a writer. But by the time I finished high school, two English teachers killed the desire. English is not my first language, and these two teachers made sure I knew it. And even to this day, I feel a twinge of fear every time I have to put words to paper. The birth of my daughter rekindled this desire to create stories.

When I first started writing, I only hoped to document some of the Chinese-American traditions and beliefs for my children. Unfortunately, we will lose the language and the culture by the time my children are adults. Hopefully, I will still be writing in 10 years because my novels are my legacy to my children. Now if I can write full-time, that would be the icing.

What are you currently working on?

I am writing “Sunny Mates and Murders,” Raina Sun Mystery #5. I’ve spent too much time “researching” this book. It only takes me about two months to write a book, but it has been six months since I last set a writing schedule for myself. So I set up deadlines with preorders and already booked the editors. If I didn’t take such drastic measures, I probably wouldn’t even get this book out until next summer.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite book in my cozy mystery is “Breezy Friends and Bodies.” The readers get to meet Raina’s family and see a glimpse of her previous life in San Francisco. A Chinese mob boss also play a role in helping her understand her family dynamics. It was a really fun book to write.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I love “The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery.” There’s a systematic plan to work on one aspect of your novel each week for an entire year. Once you finish every chapter in the book, you should have a mystery novel. And sure enough, when I finished all the steps, I wrote “Raining Men and Corpses,” which became the first novel in cozy mystery series.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

Like all writers with a day job and a family, finding time to write is a constant battle, especially when writing don’t pay the bills. And not everyone in my life understands my desire to write. They view it as a nice hobby I should set aside whenever they come calling. But writing isn’t a hobby for me. It’s a calling, and hopefully, something I can turn into a full-time income in the future.

The most rewarding part about being a writer is when my children can point out my book covers on the computer or flip through the paperbacks. And it is always rewarding to interact with my readers.

What book is on your nightstand?

I am reading “No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished” by Rachel Aaron. While I might be a mystery writer, I love reading fantasy, especially urban fantasy. This book is the third book in the Heartstrikers series. I love the family dynamics in this large dragon family. I came from a family of 30+ cousins, and I am smack in the middle, so the dynamics in a large family always fascinate me.

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

First, I need to finish writing “Sunny Mates and Murders,” which I hope to release at the beginning of February 2017. Then, I would like to start a paranormal cozy mystery. Of course, I’ve been talking about starting a new series for a year, and given my limited writing time, this might be a pie in the sky idea. If not 2017, then there is always 2018. That’s the wonderful thing about writing. There is no time limit to this gig.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

All my characters are a facet of me. For example, Raina is an engineer, and I am an engineer (although she is more than a decade younger than me). Po Po is the grandmother I would like to be with my future grandchildren. Yes, even the annoying characters are a part of me. They would say or do things I would never say. It’s just like my children, the characters are part of me, but they are not me.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link: http://annertan.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneRTanAuthor

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/annertan

AUTHOR BIO

Anne R. Tan fell in love with storytelling in elementary school, but decided to study engineering so she could get a “real job.” Her day job is her vacation from home and she moonlights as a writer to keep the voices inside her head under control.

Her debut humorous cozy mysteries features Raina Sun, a Chinese American amateur sleuth, dealing with love, family betrayal, and her place in the world while solving murders.

Sign up for her newsletter for new release announcement, sales, and exclusive content at http://annertan.com/newsletter/

14706870_1787462588197366_5494596390044057284_oBreezy Friends and Bodies by Anne R Tan is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Anna Celeste Burke, whose Cozy Mystery, A Gnarly New Year, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

anna-celeste-burke-author-picAnna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a retired professor living out in the California desert not too far from Palm Springs. I took up writing fiction when I retired several years ago. Before that I had a lot of different life experiences—good and bad—that have influenced my writing. I was a University Professor and Associate Dean for Research when I retired. At other times, I worked as an organizational consultant, a therapist, a chef, a caterer, an Avon sales person, an assistant in a genetics lab, as well as a variety of odd[er] jobs. I enjoy hiking, music, and old movies—especially film noir. My life got off to a bumpy start, so I’m forever grateful for second chances.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I read like a fiend when I was a child. Like many children, I made up stories—I especially enjoyed creating alternative endings for my favorite books. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that I had to write. My second or third year of graduate school, on my way to becoming a professor, I began to feel the pressure to publish. When they say publish or perish in the academic world, they mean it. It’s hard to get and keep a job if you don’t write. The “stories” I wrote then were all about using science to understand mysteries behind poverty, mental illness, or crime.

What are you currently working on?

The 4th novella in the Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series: A Merry Marvelous Marley World Wedding for release in December. A Christmas wedding is in the works! When a bride goes missing, a cast of unusual suspects make it difficult to figure out whodunit and why. I’m also hoping to finish the 4th book in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series, A Dead Mother.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I’m always delighted when I finish a new book. Right now, that’s the latest book in my Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series: A Merry Marvelous Marley World Wedding. It’s my “new baby” so it’s special. There will also always be a special place in my heart for the first fiction book I wrote—book one in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series, A Dead Husband.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

A ton of mysteries, most of them what we now regard as cozy. When I first read Agatha Christie’s books, for example, I just called them mysteries. I love reading mystery series. I enjoy encountering the same sleuth confronted by very different mysteries to solve. I’m partial to women sleuths who are accidental or amateur sleuths. There are so many in addition to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple that I could never list them all. I enjoy books with female sleuths ranging from cozy to hard-boiled.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

The creative part of writing is the most enjoyable aspect of what I do as an author. Making stuff up is fun. The research required to write a book is sometimes challenging but also rewarding. I always learn something new with every book I write.

Character development and plotting are two components of storytelling that matter a great deal to me. Writing a series is particularly appealing because it provides a much longer “character arc”—a longer time frame in which to explore a sleuth’s character and in which it can grow and change.

Getting the sleuth into trouble and writing her out of it is another challenging and rewarding element of storytelling. There are delightful surprises that come about while writing, especially when characters interact. Editing is far less satisfying than creating that first draft, but essential, of course. It’s amazing how much you get wrong while writing. Marketing is probably my least favorite part of the writing process. Without it, though, no one knows your book exists. So, it’s every bit as important as the creative process and editing.

What book is on your nightstand?

I have a ton of books on my Kindle. Several mysteries & thrillers are waiting in the queue to be read. Books by David Baldacci, James Rollins, and the latest book by Sue Grafton, “X.”

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Once I finish the 4th mystery in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series, A Dead Mother, I have the 5th book in the queue to write: A Dead Cousin. After that, there will be two Corsario Cove Cozy mystery novellas and another Georgie Shaw mystery that will take place on a cruise ship. The tentative title is MMW Fantasy at Sea.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

I’d just like to say thank you again for the support from sites like this one that help those of us who enjoy cozy mysteries find out about new authors and new series. I’d also like to convey how much I enjoy engaging readers. It’s so interesting to hear others’ take on the topics that show up in my books or hover in the background as I write. The energy from that give and take keeps me going when I’m trying to juggle the demands of writing and publishing.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website link http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com

Facebook Link (author page) https://www.facebook.com/annacelesteburke

Twitter Link https://twitter.com/aburke59

AUTHOR BIO

Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning and bestselling author who enjoys snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! Her books include the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California–the OC. Coming soon: The Misadventures of Betsy Stark that take place in the Coachella Valley. Find out more at http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com.

Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

 

 

 

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In today’s interview, I welcome Alannah Rogerswhose Cozy Mystery,  The Grrr-eat Tiger Chase, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

alannah-rogers-author-picAlannah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a full-time mystery writer living in Toronto, Canada. I was hired to ghostwrite cozy cat mysteries and about a year and a half ago I decided I wanted to try to write my own! I always had cats growing up. I even subscribed to Cat Fancy magazine when I was a kid, I was so obsessed. I don’t have pets now because I travel too much so I write cat mysteries instead.

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I even worked in marketing at a major publisher for a while. But at the back of my mind, I always wanted to be the one writing the books. I moved to Mexico City four years ago, where I met my husband. It’s a far cheaper city to live in and I was able to start writing full-time while teaching English on the side.

What are you currently working on?

I just finished my ninth Beatrice Young cozy cat mystery called The Amaw-zing British Murder Mystery. Beatrice and her three crime-solving cats go to England on holiday and end up investigating the murder of a fellow guest at their B&B.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

I love The Santa Claws Bandit. It is completely ridiculous. The cats participate in a theater version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and there’s a gun-toting thief dressed as Santa. It’s a lot of fun.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I’m actually not a huge mystery reader, though I hope to change that. I read a lot of classic children’s literature when I was a kid. Think Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, The Secret Garden, The Phantom Toolbooth, the Narnia books. Those simple books with loveable characters and can’t-put-’em-‘down plots have probably influenced my writing the most.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

Sitting down and actually writing the thing. I do a lot of complaining and avoiding writing by going to the kitchen for coffee and snacks. I’ll go to a cafe if I’m really blocked. The background noise relaxes and focuses me, for some reason. The most rewarding part of writing is when you really get into the groove of the story and get excited about the story and characters. I love those moments when I’m writing and I make myself laugh. That’s when I know the book is actually going to be funny and not terrible.

What book is on your nightstand?

I just finished The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I decided I need to write more complex mysteries, so I’d better study the master!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I’m preparing to write The Meowy Christmas Kitten, a new Christmas-themed Beatrice Young cozy cat mystery. It’ll release December 4, 2016. Christmas is my favorite holiday so I’m going to have a lot of fun with this book.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Even if you hate cats, you should still read my books because the cats in my novels are like normal cats but much, much better. They’re like funny little people who have amazing crime-solving skills. Also, you should sign up for my mailing list because I send out cool sales, contests, and special content.

AUTHOR LINKS

Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016N5W120

Facebook Link (author page): https://www.facebook.com/alannahrogersmysteries/

Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/arogersauthor

AUTHOR BIO

the-great-tiger-chaseAlannah Rogers is the pen name for a Canadian writer. She grew up in Nova Scotia and her trips to nearby Maine and New Hampshire helped inspire the Beatrice Young books. She is currently based in Toronto.

The Grrreat Tiger Chase by Alannah Rogers is just one of the titles featured in a 25-novel cosy mystery collection called 25 Mysteries to Die For which aims to hit the USA Today Bestseller List at the end of the year.

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In today’s interview, I welcome Alannah Foley whose Cozy Mystery,  Deathbed of Roses, is featured in the above mentioned box set.

alannah-foley-author-pic

Alannah, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

AF: I was raised in the UK but in my twenties, I lived in my Australian birthplace for five years. I’m currently settled in Cornwall (south of England), where I’ve based some of my works of fiction.

I’m quite an eclectic writer with two fiction series so far – the Campervan Bushman Mysteries and the shorter Tales from Corny Cove.  Both are light-hearted, easy reads, with a feel-good ending.  My nonfiction books include Campervan Capers, Cycling Widows (satire about living with an obsessive cyclist) and The Jacaranda Trail (where I discovered long-long family, etc Down Under).

Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?

AF: My mum says I was always writing down something, although I’m not one of the many authors who ‘always knew’ they wanted to be a writer. Over the years, I’ve scribbled down all sorts of ideas, written songs, poetry and short stories, written and illustrated newsletters, etc.  A sort of diverse creator, I suppose.  But when I was younger, I actually wanted to be a French teacher and absolutely loved languages. Even made up a few!

What are you currently working on?

AF: I’ve not long released the 3rd book in the Campervan Bushman Mystery Series and am working on a follow-up story which I plan to release exclusively to those in my Readers Group. After that, I plan to continue with book 4, although I have a few other projects I’m looking at working on which are ‘black ops’ right now.

Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

AF: Although I love playing with the characters in my Campervan Bushman Mystery Series, I also enjoy writing short stories and other stuff which don’t require so much planning in terms of tying up clues & red herrings. I’ve actually had a good chuckle writing the books in my satirical Cycling Widows series – all that appeals to my impish (read: ‘childish’) sense of humour and it’s less structured. But, at the end of the day, it really is hard to choose which thing you love the best – each book projects gives you something new to explore!

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

Now, that’s another hard one to answer.  As I see it, so many things in life are interwoven that you can’t always pinpoint what helps with what.  Books I read twenty or so years ago, such as Robert Fritz’s The Path of Least Resistance, for example, changed the way I thought about creating what I wanted in life.

When it comes to writing fiction, I think I’ve probably learnt as much from reading it as I have done from reading nonfiction books about writing it.  Reading Scott Mariani’s Ben Hope thrillers, for instance, helped me get clearer on transitioning from one chapter to the next with my action/adventure-style novel, Cyclopathic Tendencies.

In terms of my writing style, I don’t have any hankering to emulate any particular author.  I learn from others, but I think it’s important to find your own voice, because that’s what your readers connect with.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?

I don’t consider myself to be a fast writer, so I find it challenging to have so many ideas but so little time. When I’ve written the cosy mysteries in the Campervan Bushman series, I’ve had a few challenges with tying up clues/evidence (I’m sure it comes with the territory!), but what’s kept me going is the fact that I get time to have fun with the characters and dream up unusual things for Scott to do – he’s my main character and is part campervan-surfer, part Crocodile Dundee, you might say. In each book, he and his crew are filming another episode of an outdoorsy TV show, so I get to explore and add stuff like bushcraft, food foraging, and so on into the mix.

 What book is on your nightstand?

I’m gradually working my way through Pipe Dreams by Kelly Slater (a champion surfer, like my main character, Scott). On my TBR pile are some nice big hardbacks about Aborigines and old adventurers in Australia, plus some Bill Bryson travel books and historical fiction paperbacks by EV Thompson.  On my Android, there’s a mishmash of fiction, books on writing and some other nonfiction.  I also like action/adventure/thriller novels by the likes of Scott Mariani, Mario Reading, Michael Cordy, and James Rollins. As you can see, my tastes are quite eclectic.

Will I ever get to read all those books?  Err…  We live in hope!

What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

Now that book 3 in the Campervan Bushman Mystery Series is out, I’ll eventually look to publish a set of paperbacks.  I have outlines for future books in the series, plus ideas for free extras for my Readers Group, including a few more free short stories.

I also have a few other ideas in the pipe which I’m researching, so if they get off the ground, I’ll be announcing those at a later date.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?

Basically, a big thank you to my readers who have taken the time to leave reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads.  If you’re a reader and think your reviews don’t matter – think again!  It really is appreciated by an author and helps readers to decide on their next book.

Killer Climate – book 1 in the Campervan Bushman Mystery Series – is currently available free at most outlets – find more info & pick up the links on my website.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website (The Pyjama Writer) – www.thePyjamaWriter.com

Facebook Author Page – www.facebook.com/PyjamaWriter

Twitter – www.twitter.com/alannah_foley

14707913_1787564124853879_1252442419215070746_oAUTHOR BIO

Alannah Foley – aka ‘The Pyjama Writer’ – is the author of light cosy mysteries, short fiction, and bunch of other maverick titles that won’t fall in line.

She was raised in the UK and did a five-year stint in her Aussie birthplace in her twenties, where mozzies regularly used her for target practice. She managed to return to Old Blighty devoid of shark or snake bite, however, and currently lives in picturesque Cornwall with her cycling-obsessed partner.

To date, she has two fiction series – the Campervan Bushman Mysteries and Tales from Corny Cove – both of which are light, easy reads with a few twists, turns and tickles along the way. Her nonfiction titles span topics as diverse as capers in a campervan, the vagaries of living with an obsessive cyclist and her adventures Down Under.

To get sneak peeks at upcoming books, hear about early discounts on new releases, and any cool offers she might be running, why not join her Readers Group? You can currently get a free download when you sign up at http://bit.ly/PJW-NL-SC.

 

 

 

Cozy Mystery Author