Posted in Blog Tour, Interview

Interview of Trish Esden, Author of The Art of the Decoy: A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery

I’m happy to have Trish Esden from northwestern Vermont here to speak about her writing and her lastest mystery, The Art of Decoy. Trish also writes contemporary fantasy that is a touch dark and a bit sexy under the name Pat Esden.

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

THE ART OF THE DECOY, a Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery, is my debut mystery. It will be released on April 5th of this year by Crooked Lane Books. A second book in the series will be published in spring 2023.

My first contemporary fantasy series, Dark Heart, was published by Kensington Books starting in 2016. In 2018 my second fantasy series, The Northern Circle Coven, was released by Kensington.


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?

My goal is to continue to write and promote the Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery series. The first two novels are under contract with Crooked Lane Books. I’m currently writing a third book which isn’t under contract yet. I’m also working on a short mystery story that isn’t related to the series. My hope is that publishing short fiction will fill in the gap between novel releases. I’m also taking a marketing class with Laurie Cooper of Ask Pub Craft, so I can keep up to date in that area.

Nice. I also write Cobble Cove mystery stories in between the series books.

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

I think my novels would be perfect for readers who enjoy mysteries by authors such as of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry. They’d also be great for mystery book clubs since they feature a large cast of characters and bring up a variety potential discussion topics related to the antique and art world.

Sounds interesting.

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

Hang in there and strive to give your story all the time and work it needs before attempting to get it published.

Great advice.

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

I have always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until I was in my late forties that I began writing with the goal of being published. My main challenge was to raise my writing skills up to a professional level. I did this by taking a ton of writing classes online and by joining professional organizations such as Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime. It’s a great group. I started publishing late, too, but I’ve also been writing all my life.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I don’t belong to any formal in person writing groups. However, I do go on writing retreats with author friends. Plus, I belong to writing groups attached to the organizations I mentioned previously—MWA and SINC. I also attend writing meeting sponsored by the League of Vermont Writers.

I’m sure your participation in those is helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

In real life, I’m an antique dealer which keeps me busy. I love going to museums, flea markets, and yard sales. I also enjoy traveling whenever the chance comes along. I birdwatch, garden and create painted folk art furniture. I also spend as much quality time as possible with my husband and Haley, our Golden retriever.

Nice hobbies, and your antique experience supports your writing. I have cats, but there’s a golden retriever in my Cobble Cove series. I think they’re beautiful dogs.

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

The toughest challenge and least enjoyable part of being an author is the waiting and not knowing when or if writing related things are going to happen. This occurs at all stages of being an author and throughout the career. First you wait to hear back from critique partners, then you wait for responses from agents…Even after the novel goes on submission and is bought by a publisher, the schedule when things happen is most often up in the air. This is somewhat more control able if you self-publish, but even thing there are long wait times.

What I like most is when I get a review where the reader enjoyed the novel, and really got the heart of what I intended.

The waiting is tough, but good reviews do make it worthwhile.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I love dreaming up characters and mystery plots, and then finding the perfect way to twist the story so it surprises the reader and yet feels inevitable.

Yes. That can be a challenge, but I enjoy it, too.

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

I love to have aspiring authors as well as readers follow me on social media. Be sure to also signup for my newsletter on my website. You’ll find a contact email there. Feel free to use it if you have any questions about writing or my series. I enjoy staying in touch and answering questions.

That’s so nice. Thanks for the interview, Trish. I’m also sharing the blog tour and giveaway for your new release.

The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
by Trish Esden

About The Art of the Decoy

The Art of the Decoy (A Scandal Mountain Antiques Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Vermont
Crooked Lane Books (April 5, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1643859641
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1643859644
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B098PXZNDF

Perfect for fans of Jane K. Cleland and Connie Berry, Tricia Esden’s series debut is sure to please.

After her mother is sent to prison for art forgery, Edie Brown returns to Northern Vermont to rebuild her family’s fine art and antiques business. She’s certain she can do it now that her mother is gone. After all, butting heads with her mom over bad business practices was what drove Edie away three years ago, including a screwup that landed Edie on probation for selling stolen property.

When Edie scores a job appraising a waterfowl decoy collection at a hoarder’s farmhouse, she’s determined to take advantage of the situation to rebuild the business’s tarnished reputation and dwindling coffers. In lieu of payment, Edie intends to cherry-pick an exceptional decoy carved by the client’s renowned Quebecoise folk artist ancestors. Only the tables turn when the collection vanishes.

Accused of the theft, Edie’s terrified that the fallout will destroy the business and land her in prison next to her mom. Desperate, she digs into the underbelly of the local antiques and art world. When Edie uncovers a possible link between the decoy theft and a deadly robbery at a Quebec museum, she longs to ask her ex-probation officer, and ex-lover, for help. But she suspects his recent interest in rekindling their romance may hide a darker motive.

With the help of her eccentric uncle Tuck and Kala, their enigmatic new employee, Edie must risk all she holds dear to expose the thieves and recover the decoys before the FBI’s Art Crime Team or the ruthless thieves themselves catch up with her.

About Trish Esden

Trish Esden loves museums, gardens, wilderness, dogs, and birds, in various orders depending on the day. She lives in northern Vermont where she deals antiques with her husband, a profession she’s been involved with since her teens. Don’t ask what her favorite type of antique is. She loves hunting down old bottles and rusty barn junk as much as she enjoys fine art and furnishings.

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Posted in Contest

My Cat Hermione Needs Your Votes in America’s Favorite Pet Contest

For those of you who haven’t seen my Facebook posts, Hermione made the semi-finals of America’s Favorite Pet Contest. I can’t thank enough all the people who have been voting every day and who have generously purchased PAWS votes to help her move ahead and also to raise funds for the PAWS Foundation to help pets.
The competition is tough, and we still need your votes to get to the next and final round which ends Thursday night, March 31. Please keep voting each day with free votes and/or PAWS votes. Keep an eye out for double PAWS votes which count for twice the votes and go twice as far to help pets.

Thank you so much, and big purrs from Hermione. She’s a very sweet and beautiful girl, and I’d love to see her win. Please vote for Hermione here if you agree:

Posted in Reviews

Review for Write that Book! by Stephanie Larkin


If you’re a writer, or a wannabe-writer, this is the book for you. It takes you step-by-step on how to get started, get organized, get writing, and get published. Those are the chapter titles, and each one contains a wealth of information provided by the author, Stephanie Larkin, the “head penguin” of Red Penguin Books. She shared with readers her experience and knowledge of the writing world.

Even if you’ve already written books and/or published them, you’ll find this guide a handy reference with tips and exercises galore which makes it a great print book to buy, although e-copies are available.

If you’re a beginner, this book will certainly motivate you on your writing journey.

A must read for all writers and those aspiring to write.

Pick up your copy here:

Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post, Blog Tour, and Giveaway for Costumes & Cadavers: A Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery, by Katherine H. Brown

Hi, everyone.

I’m Katherine, the author of Costumes & Cadavers, and I’m humbled to be here today.

Authors often receive questions about their writing process or story creation. I thought this would be a nice opportunity to see if I can answer one of those today.

Do the characters come to you at the same time, or do some of them come as you write?

Many of my characters start with a quick thought: a quirky conversation pops in my head; an outfit that would be fabulous at getting in the way while hunting a murderer; a cool name.

Then POOF.

I take that thought, jot it down in a spiral or a Word document, and start making up some extras to go with it. Soon, I’ve created perhaps two to five of my characters and some small details about them. From there, I decide what is going to happen to toss them into some mystery or mayhem. And I begin writing!

I’m what we in the writer world call a plantser. I mostly write by the seat of my pants, though I may string together a simple outline or plan for a character or two, I don’t usually know the details of the middle of the book. Those come as I write. Or as I write myself into a corner and have to find my way out, either way.

So, many characters pop up unexpectedly in the middle of a scene and I just write them based on the part they need to play in the story.

Once, a chef suddenly started speaking French. Another time, a Yakuza gang appeared out of nowhere in a sleepy little beach town. I don’t even begin to question when these things happen; I simply grin and keep typing.
Costumes & Cadavers: Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery
by Katherine H. Brown

About Costumes & Cadavers

Costumes & Cadavers: Sassy Supplies Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (January 17, 2022)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 36 pages
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09QMRXW4T

Nobody ever plans to be the death of the party.

Party guests congratulate Charity Basham, owner of Sassy Supplies Crafts & More, on the scariness of her backyard skeleton decoration. Unfortunately, Charity didn’t put out any skeleton decorations.

With the discovery of a dead body, her Halloween party turns into a nightmare. With her fingerprints (and some white cat fur) are all over the murder weapon, Charity finds herself at the top of the suspect list.

Can she clear her name before the dishy Detective Sota arrests her for murder?

About Katherine H. Brown

Texas author Katherine Brown is a wife, a mother to two beautiful book-devouring girls, a bookaholic ice cream lover, Harry Potter fan, and an enthusiastic weaver of words. Writing since she could scribble with crayons, Katherine has published books for adults and children alike. Fans of her cozy mystery series range from age twelve to seventy-two. She hopes to inspire in others a passion for reading and provide many adventures through the pages of books for years to come.

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Posted in historical fiction, Reviews

Review: The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

As a librarian and fan of historical fiction, it was my pleasure to read Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray’s novel, The Personal Librarian. On Tuesday, March 29, Ms. Benedict will participate in a virtual author event to discuss her latest book, Her Hidden Genius. The event is hosted by the Valley Stream Book Club and co-hosted by seven Nassau County, Long Island libraries including mine.

*****5 stars

Marie Benedict, noted for her historical fiction, has co-written an excellent fictional, semi-biographical account of Belle da Costa Greene, the personal librarian for J. P. Morgan, who pretended to be white to secure her position as a successful businesswoman during the time that being both female and black were strong strikes against you.

Belle’s story is one of racial inequality through the ages. Due to her lighter skin, she was able to keep up the pretense of her race. But what it gained her in professional success, she lost in other areas.

Benedict and Murray, the co-authors, of the book, researched Greene’s life and included notes describing how they worked together during the pandemic and how writing Belle’s story changed their lives. Benedict stated that it made her more aware of the injustices against blacks, known and referred to as “colored” people to reflect the language of the period.

How Greene helped establish the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City is an absorbing tale of courage and determination that is an extraordinary read.


Posted in Cozy Mystery, Reviews

Review of THE GHOST CAMPER’S TALL TALES, A Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic Cozy Mystery, by Elizabeth Pantley


The third book of Elizabeth Pantley’s Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic is a fun tale that continues the story of Hayden, her cat Latifa, and the magical world of Destiny Falls and its wonderful characters. In this installment, Hayden finds the body of a man she believed to have been killed in the previous book. She also discovers a letter from Gladstone, the neighboring island off Destiny Falls, that can only be reached by ferry with a special ticket. The letter is supposedly from her mother who she thought abandoned her as a child but now learns was possibly taken against her will.

As Hayden delves deeper into the mystery with Latifa, her cat who she communicates with via telepathy; her brother Axel; the sheriff; and her romantic interest, Han, she learns some strange things about the three businessmen who own shops near the newspaper office where she works. She also befriends a ghost who appears to her alone and shares some tales that turn out to be history lessons about Gladstone.

This is a delightful addition to the series. One of my favorite parts was when Hayden visited the Destiny Falls Library. As a librarian, I would love to work in such an enchanted place. I enjoyed every page of the book and look forward to reading the others. I highly recommend them to cozy mystery fans, cat lovers, and everyone who likes magical tales.

See my Review of the first book in the series, FALLING INTO MAGIC: and my interview with the author about her second book, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF EMILY:

Latifa and Chanel, two of the cats, were also interviewed on my cat character’s blog:

Posted in Cats, Contest

Hermione Made it to the Quarter Finals!

Thanks so much for those who voted for my cat, Hermione, in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. She’s moved into the quarter finals, so needs your votes even more at this point. You can vote for free once a day and/or pay for PAWS votes that go toward the PAWS Foundation to help animals. Every so often, the PAWS votes double. When this happens, it’s indicated on the voting page:

Hermione is a sweet and beautiful cat who will be four years old this summer. We adopted her and her brother, Harry, when they were three-month-old kittens. It was after our family had suffered a double loss. We’d lost our senior Siamese and my mother. The two kittens have given us so much joy and helped heal our sadness. They joined our older cat, Stripey.

I’m honored that so many people have been voting for Hermione, but the competition is tough. She went neck to neck with another contestant in a previous round.

On my other blog, she posted why she deserves your vote. Check out what she wrote here:

Her brother, Harry, also blogged in support of his sister. Here’s his post:

The Quarter Finals end on March 24. If Hermione receives enough votes, she’ll move on to the semi-finals. If she makes it to the finals and wins, she’ll appear in Catster Magazine and receive valuable awards.

We appreciate all your support. daily votes, and PAWS vote donations. Vote here to help Hermione become America’s Favorite Pet:

Posted in Anthology, Freebies and Special Offers

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A Gift and a Way for You to Help Pets and the Ukraine

Even if you’re not Irish, I’d like to give you a St. Patrick’s Day gift. My cozy mystery story, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, is free today, March 17, through the weekend. Pick up your copy here:

Would you like to help support a good cause? Red Penguin Books is publishing “Where Flowers Bloom: Poems and Essays of Strength, Hope, and Resilience,” to raise funds to aid the Ukraine people. They’re seeking submissions until March 25 and also have a Kickstarter campaign.

For details, see:

Thanks to those who voted for Hermione in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. She’s now #1 in her group but still needs more votes until 6 PM PDT time on March 17 to stay in the contest and enter the quarter finals.

You can vote once each day for free or buy votes that raise funds for the PAWS Foundation to help pets. Please make St. Patrick’s Day and St. Gertrude’s Day (Saint of Cats) lucky for Miss Hermione on March 17.

Posted in Uncategorized

Harry’s Kitty Korner #25: Please Vote for my Sister

Sneaky The Library Cat's Blog

Meow, there. It’s Harry aka Harold. For those who aren’t aware, despite my lady’s constant posting and messaging, my sister, Hermione, is running for America’s Favorite Pet. Now I don’t hold a grudge about why she was chosen to enter and not me. In fact, I support her all the way and encourage you to vote for her daily with a free vote and also buy PAWS votes that raise funds for animals. The PAWS votes count double today (Tuesday, March 15).  They make your money go further to help Hermione and other pets.

I honestly think my Sis deserves to win. Take a look at these photos of her. Isn’t she adorable? Not as adorable as me, but quite cute. It runs in the family.


So please don’t delay. Hermione needs your vote to remain in the race. The next cut will be March 17…

View original post 29 more words

Posted in author news

Mid-March Updates, W.I.P’s, and More

I hope you’re all doing well and looking forward to spring. I know I am. Although the weather’s been back and forth this month so far, it should settle into a steadier pattern soon. Don’t forget to turn your clocks forward this Sunday for Daylight Savings Time if you’re in an area that observes it.

I wanted to post some updates about my writing. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have a cover for the first book of my new cozy series, The Case of the Cat Crazy Lady, and I’m also still waiting for edits to start. However, during my wait, I’ve completed another standalone novel that I’m editing and will submit to an agent or publisher soon. It’s too early for me to share any details except that it involves time travel.

I’m also reprinting my cat book, Pet Posts: the Cat Chats, with a new cover and title. This book will also be published in hardcover, large print, paperback, audio, and eBook with wide distribution. In addition, I’m about to begin work on another Cobble Cove story, tentatively titled Sneaky’s Supernatural Mystery. I’m considering using this as the main story in a print collection of the previous five stories (the collection will also be available as eBooks and free on Kindle Unlimited), but I know some readers still prefer print and have asked for these stories in that format.

Talking about collections, I’ve also submitted a poem and an essay to Red Penguin Books for their Ukraine fundraiser, Where Flowers Bloom: Poems and Essays of Strength, Hope, and Resilience. They are still seeking stories until March 25 and also have a Kickstarter campaign. For details, see

I’ll also be writing something for the first Long Island Authors Group anthology.

In April, I’m planning an Easter giveaway. More on that in my April newsletter. To subscribe, complete the pop-up form at, or send me your email.

Lastly, I’d like to ask a favor. If you’re on Facebook, could you please vote for my cat Hermione, who is running in America’s Favorite Pet Contest? She’s already passed through two rounds but needs votes to get into the quarter finals on March 17. You can vote every day for free and/or purchase PAWS votes that raise funds for the PAWS Foundation that helps animals. PAWS votes sometimes count double for a short time, as indicated on the voting page. I would also appreciate any shares of her campaign link:

To read why Hermione thinks she deserves your vote, check out her post here: