Posted in Author Spotlight, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Interview with Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The Disappearance of Emily, A Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Novel

I’m excited to chat with Elizabeth Pantley from Seattle, Washington about her new release, The Disappearance of Emily, the second book of her Mystery and Magic series.

How long have you been published, Elizabeth? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I’ve written thirteen parenting books published by McGraw-Hill. I’ve just recently made a leap into fiction with my Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series.

How interesting.

Tell us a bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

The first book in the Destiny Falls series was released a few months ago: Falling into Magic. That’s where the story begins. The second book in the series, The Disappearance of Emily is releasing now, and I’m in the middle of writing the third book: The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales.

Excellent. I have to say I loved Falling into Magic and hope to read The Disappearance of Emily soon. I’m happy to hear you’ll be having a third in the series coming out, too.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I have notes and ideas for the first ten books in the Destiny Falls series. I also have ideas percolating for several other book series. It will keep me busy!

Lol. You sound like me. I’m starting to think about the sixth book in my Cobble Cove series and am also hoping to start a new cozy mystery series. In addition, my Easter Cobble Cove story, KittyKai’s Easter Mystery, is on blog tour starting today, March 22, and I have a time travel thriller releasing in April. So many book ideas, so little time to write them!

What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Anyone who likes fun, magical, cozy mysteries with a bit of humor and a lot of intrigue would enjoy the Destiny Falls series. I’ve had readers that range all the way from young adults to centenarians!

That’s a nice wide audience, and I think you can add cat lovers to that mix, as I love the cats in your books and am even interviewing one on my cat character’s blog today.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Write what you know in the style of books that you love. For your first draft, keep it to yourself and just get your story down on paper from beginning to end. Then share, edit and revise.

Good advice, but I’m more of a pantster in that regard. I let the story unfold as I write, but I have trained myself to do more plotting lately. Editing and revising are always important after a first draft.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Well, that was over twenty years ago, but I’d say the challenge of just getting the ball rolling is hard.

It certainly is in more than one respect. Writing the book is the first challenge, getting it published is the second, and marketing/promoting is the third.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I’m a member of quite a few mystery groups – the support is helpful and encouraging.

I agree that groups, especially those in your genre, can lend much-needed motivation and support as well as networking and educational opportunities.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to run – I actually have a very hilly 5K route I run every weekend. I enjoy hiking in the woods. Most of all, I enjoy any activity I share with my four kids and one young grandchild.

Interesting. I’ve just started running, jogging mostly, but I also like to fast walk and do power walking videos when the weather isn’t nice enough. I find it really clears my mind. I had a feeling you were a runner by the wonderful descriptions of running in your book.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

I love when a story unfolds as I write it and when other people enjoy it. The hardest challenge is the marketing and bookkeeping. I’d rather just write – but that work must also be done!

I think most authors would agree with you on that. I certainly do.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love that the characters and the location drive the story. It’s fun to create a world filled with interesting people who deal with unusual circumstances. I love that you can count on a good resolution!

Happy endings are a great feature of cozies. I also enjoy creating quirky characters in small towns with pets, of course, and murders that aren’t too gory.

Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?

I’d love to! Let’s just start with the beginning!

Chapter 1

The mountain trail was tricky. I was moving slowly through the deep snow. I knew the lake had to be nearby. It was important to find it, but I could barely see ten feet in front of me. It was steep and slippery, and I was making my way using trekking poles to assess where I should step next. My hands and feet were cold. I heard Latifa calling out to me. Where was she? What was she saying? 

“Good morning, Sunshine!” Her lilting voice woke me from my dream. “Happy one-month-a-versary!” It’s amazing how accustomed I’d grown to my cat’s telepathic voice in my head.

I squinted at my fluffy Himalayan sidekick. She was sitting beside me on the bed. I stretched out my arms and gave an extra-loud yawn in her direction, hoping she’d get the hint that she had woken me up.

“Message received. Woke you up. So sorry. Got it.” She squinted at me and whispered, “Not sorry.”

I yawned at her again.

“Bet you forgot today is one month from the earth-shattering day we arrived in Destiny Falls.” Her big baby blues were focused on me, and her whiskers were twitching. “I have appointed myself Keeper of Your Calendar. You can be so forgetful about celebratory dates.” She shook her furry head as if it were impossible to believe.

“Squeeee! You remembered!” She head-butted my face and spun a little circle on the bed, then turned to tear open the package. There was more squealing as she discovered her new, feathered cat toy.

I patted my sidekick’s head and tossed my legs over the side of the bed. A glance at my phone confirmed that Latifa-the-alarm-clock was right on time. I needed to get changed and meet Axel downstairs for a morning jog into town. He was often too busy with work to join me in the morning, so it was a wonderful treat to have some extra time with my newfound brother.

My brother. How I loved the sound of that. After a lifetime as an only child in a tiny three-person family, finding out that I had siblings and a large hidden family was monumental. Add to that a mysterious, magical new world, and I was floating on cloud nine.

The only dark spot was missing my family and my best friend, Luna. I was still trying to figure out how to tell them about Destiny Falls. I’d have to sort this out soon, since my cover story of a working trip to Denmark was nearing its expiration. A month overseas was feasible, but as the timeline continued, I’d need to address my disappearance.

My Nana and Granana would be happy that I was happy. They’ve been my biggest cheerleaders my entire life. They always said my happiness mattered most to them. Both my parents disappeared the week I was born, so my grandmother and great-grandmother jumped into raising me. They were dedicated to the job, with an enthusiasm that was a complete contrast to their tiny, delicate appearances. Luna and I referred to them as the Mighty Minis, which was an apt description. 

Figuring out how to explain that I wasn’t really in Denmark, but in a magical, hidden town in an unknown location was a whole new ball of wax. Especially since the town was finicky about who it revealed itself to. Any e-mails or texts I attempted to send, explaining my location, disappeared into the ether in a wisp of bounces— undeliverable, message not sent, connection lost. Even phone calls suddenly lost the signal. Maybe Axel, my brother (deep sigh of joy), could help me solve this problem.

I turned on the movie channel for Latifa, my furry little movie buff, tucked my ponytail through the back of my baseball cap, and headed out. I strolled slowly down the hallway, so I could absorb the beauty of this amazing home.

Hmm. That was odd. Where was the window seat? It was usually somewhere in my hallway, but it was oddly absent. There was a glorious swatch of sunlight, which is where it normally would be lounging. I snickered. Imagine that. A window seat that can lounge in the sun. Magic touched the Caldwell Crest home in the most interesting ways.

Caldwell Crest is a masterpiece of design. It could be described as a cozy, mansion-sized mountain cabin. I felt embraced by the sweeping staircase made of polished wood. I loved the plank wood floors and ceilings and the gorgeous but understated chandeliers. I adored the stone fireplaces that soared all the way up to the tall ceilings. The earthy colors of the décor were soothing. Even after a month, I was still adjusting to the fact that it was now where I lived.

The home was enchanting. I could almost believe the rumors that it was originally built as a castle back in the 1800s and magically remodeled many times. It’s difficult to understand Caldwell Crest and the mysterious place that was Destiny Falls, especially since the definition seemed to always be changing.

It had been a wild ride of a month since I’d been thrown through a portal and landed here.

I gave another exaggerated stretch and reached over to the bedside table. With a flourish, I presented her with a small, gift-wrapped package.

Excellent excerpt. I really love your description of settings and places in Destiny Falls.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

I bet you won’t be able to guess the murderer in book one, and that you’ll be shocked at the end of books two!

You’re right that I couldn’t guess the killer in your first book, and I’m sure you’re right that I’ll be shocked at the end of the new one.

Thanks so much for the great interview. I’m sharing your blog tour, my review of the first book, and the link to the interview of your cat character. Best wishes on the new release and your wonderful series.

My review of Falling into Magic:
Sneaky the Library Cat’s Interview of Chanel:

The Disappearance of Emily
(Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series)
by Elizabeth Pantley

About The Disappearance of Emily

The Disappearance of Emily (Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Independently Published (March 15, 2021)
Number of Pages 250
Digital ASIN: B08MDZDQY7

Hayden has settled into her alternate, magical new home of Destiny Falls. She’s learning about the people here and the enchanted place, but something is amiss. When too many things occur to call them coincidences, all signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Could it be connected to the mysterious ferry? Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away?

About Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives near Seattle and is the mother of four and nana to one. This is her first work of fiction.

Author Links – Website FacebookInstagramPinterest Blog

Purchase Links – Amazon

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I'm a retired librarian and the author of the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, poems, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, SEA SCOPE, MEMORY MAKERS, TIME'S RELATIVE, MEOWS AND PURRS, and MEMORIES AND MEOWS. My Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing consists of 6 books: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED, and SNEAKY'S SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY AND OTHER COBBLE COVE STORIES. My new Buttercup Bend series published by Next Chapter Publishing includes THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY and THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My poetry appears in the Nassau County Voices in Verse and the Bard's Annual. I'm a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 2 cats.

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