Today, it’s my pleasure to interview Nellie H. Steele, author of Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore. Nellie is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Hi, Nellie. Can you tell us how long you’ve been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I published my first book in late 2019 as in Indie with my own publishing label, A Novel Idea Publishing (which I co-own with my mom!). I currently have six series on the market.
Lily & Cassie by the Sea is a cozy mystery series following mother/daughter duo, Lily and Cassie, as they move into the most talked about house in Hideaway Bay, Whispering Manor. The debut novel in the series, Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore explores the legends of Whispering Manor. More Lily & Cassie stories are coming soon!
Clif & Ri on the Sea is a high seas pirate adventure series and a spin off of the Lily & Cassie by the Sea series. The characters Clif and Ri first appear in Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore. You can learn more about them in their own series, starting with Book 1, Rise of a Pirate.
The Cate Kensie Mysteries series is a cozy mystery series following Lady Catherine Kensie as she journeys to Scotland to take up residence in a mysterious castle. Cate’s series currently has four books out with more on the way!
Shadow Slayers Stories is a magical realism/supernatural suspense series. Follow the Shadow Slayers as they battle the darkness that threatens to take over the world. This series currently has four books out with more on the way, too!
Maggie Edwards Adventures is an Indiana Jones-style adventure series set in the modern-day and following spunky heroine, Maggie Edwards, as she trots across the globe discovering ancient secrets.
The Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries series is a historical mystery series with a supernatural twist. Orphan-turned-duchess Lenora Fletcher can communicate with the dead. Her unique ability often puts her at the heart of several mysteries.
My gosh! You’re very prolific. I can’t imagine being able to keep up with all those series. I’m starting a second cozy series and am hoping I can manage it.
Tell us a little bit about your books — any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I’ve got lots of things in the works! The spinoff series to Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is coming May 10, 2022. You can follow the adventures of Clif & Ri (two minor characters in the Lily & Cassie series) in their first book, Rise of a Pirate.
The second Duchess of Blackmoore book is completed and due out July 19, 2022. Letter to a Duchess is available now to preorder.
The third book in the Maggie Edwards adventure series is complete and going through the editing cycle. It’ll make its debut later this year with a to-be-determined date.
And I’m currently writing Book 5 in the Cate Kensie Mystery series along with a few other top secret projects!
Wow! You’re very busy. I’m glad you had time for this interview.
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 plan to expand my catalog by adding a few new series and continuing to write in my current series. I’d really love to continue bringing characters to life that readers already enjoy and new ones they’ve yet to meet. I keep to a rigorous writing schedule to achieve this and I plan to continue taking course to learn best practices for my craft along with methods to connect with more readers!
That’s a great goal. I hope I can continue both my Cobble Cove series and my new one.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
Anyone who loves a good story with a great character. I try to take a lot of time to build my characters (warts and all!) into people readers will enjoy following through their journey. Most of my writing centers around the mystery genre, but I try to give unique stories throughout all my series. Any mystery reader who loves a different take on the traditional genre will enjoy my catalog!
Sounds very interesting. I must look into them. As a librarian and an author, I love discovering new writers.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Keep writing! And write what you’re passionate about! It can be extremely easy to give up, but each time you sit down at your computer, typewriter or journal, you’re practicing your craft. And with practice comes enhanced skills.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
When I started writing (and even now!), I was balancing a full-time job on top of the writing. It can make it very challenging to find the time to write, edit and do all the things required to be a published author. Though I wouldn’t change anything!
Working full-time, I can relate to that, as I’m sure many others can, as well.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I belong to lots of author groups that discuss a variety of topics ranging from writing to publishing to marketing. I also have my own group pertaining to cozy mysteries called The Cozy Collaborative. It is a Facebook group designed to help Cozy Mystery Authors at all stages of their career connect and share best practices. (Of course, we’re open to any writers).
Oh, I must join.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I have an animal rescue. I love helping pets in need. Currently, I have 14 pets in my rescue home (they are all mine, they won’t be adopted out). We work to rehab them from challenging or abusive situations into a normal home life where they can enjoy their lives pain-free and in a stress-free environment.
Wonderful! I’m a big animal lover myself. I’ve had cats all my life and included them in most of my books and stories. One of my recent rescues, my three-year-old calico, Hermione, is currently running in America’s Favorite Pet Contest. She made it to the finals after several tough rounds thanks to votes by Facebook users who have supported her by daily votes and PAWS votes that go toward raising funds for the PAWS Foundation to help pets. We’re hoping she wins Thursday night when the contest ends at 9 pm EDT. If you or any of my blog readers would be kind enough to vote for her, we need all the votes and shares we can get. Here is her voting page: https://americasfavpet.com/2022/hermione-cf74
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love creating worlds and characters. It’s really a fun thing to immerse yourself into a world of your own creation and tell a story. My least favorite thing is marketing. It can be so hard to “sell” your self and your work to others!
Toughest challenge is definitely getting bad reviews. It can really be crushing when someone dislikes your work (and then expounds on how thoroughly they dislike it in a scathing review).
I definitely agree about the challenges of marketing and disappointing reviews. As a librarian, I read a lot of reviews, and I’ve noticed that even bestsellers get some bad ones. Everyone has their own taste, and not everyone will like every book, but it’s hard not to take it personally.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love the warm, cozy feel of cozy mysteries. I love the happy endings and the general sense of “safety” they convey as you read or write them. They’re really pleasant, easy stories to get into!
I think most cozy mystery readers feel that way. I like the fact that my characters become fictional friends as people discover their quirks through my books and stories about them.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
“There’s no need to explain at all. We understand.” She took a sip of her tea as awkward silence fell over the room. “Speaking of signs, I noticed your Whispering Manor sign dangling sideways from the lamppost sideways. I’m not sure if you saw it.”
“Yes,” Lily answered. “We hung it just before lunch and the chain snapped. We’ll need to fix it later. I insisted we have some lunch before Cassie climbed that ladder again.”
“Ah, yes. A faulty chain.” Tinsley offered a knowing glance. “I’m glad to see you are both so level-headed and didn’t give in to the lore.”
“Lore?” Cassie inquired.
“Oh, yes,” Tinsley said with a slow nod of her head. “I’m surprised Lucy didn’t tell you. Though, then again, she wanted to make the deal, no doubt. And I suppose she’s not really required to disclose it. It IS only a rumor. And technically the death wasn’t IN the house.”
“Death? Disclose what?” Cassie asked.
“Oh,” Tinsley said flicking her hand at Cassie and shaking her head. She puckered her lips and narrowed her eyes. “Nothing, nothing. Just…” She paused and added a dramatic shrug. “Some people would have read the snapping sign as a harbinger of bad things to come because…”
Cassie raised her eyebrows and cocked her head.
Tinsley glanced side-to-side before leaning forward and pressing her hand to the side of her mouth. “The house is haunted,” she whispered.
Very nice. Thanks for sharing.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I’ve got a lovely “try me” boxset available. The boxset contains the first-in-series for my first four published series (Cate Kensie Mysteries, Shadow Slayers Stories, Maggie Edwards Adventures and Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries). For $9.99, it’s a great introduction to the series for readers!
That sounds great. I’m going to look into that myself. In the meantime, I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway. Thank you for the interview, and best wishes on the first book in your Lily & Cassie By the Sea cozy mysteries.
Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore: A Mother/Daughter Cozy Mystery
(Lily & Cassie By the Sea Mysteries)
by Nellie H. Steele
About Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore
Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore: A Mother/Daughter Cozy Mystery
(Lily & Cassie By the Sea Mysteries)
1st in Series
Number of Pages: 306 pages
Digital ASIN : B09PMDT2TL
A new town.
A haunting legend.
New beginnings or the beginning of the end?
After Cassie MacGuire’s husband dies in a plane crash along with her father, both her and her mother, Lily Bennett, are left as widows. Looking to make a new start, they move together to the quiet seaside town of Hideaway Bay. But their new home, Whispering Manor, has a reputation stretching back centuries. Legends of ghosts, paranormal disturbances and pirate treasure are all associated with the former sea captain’s mansion, starting with the death of its first mistress, Henrietta Blanchard.
When Cassie stumbles upon Henrietta’s journal and Lily uncovers a more recent tragedy in the home, they begin to wonder if the stories may be fact instead of fiction. When the strange occurrences turn dangerous, Lily and Cassie will have to investigate to save their home and possibly even their very lives!
Ghosts, Lore & a House by the Shore is the charming first installment in this small, seaside town mother-daughter cozy mystery series by Nellie H. Steele.
About Nellie H. Steele
An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s Tomb, Nellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.
An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies! A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.
She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.
Publisher Website: anovelideapublishing.com
Purchase Link: Amazon: (eBook preorder is currently live. Book will be offered in eBook, paperback, hardcover, and audio).
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