Posted in Authors, Books, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries

Cozy Chat with Charmain Zimmerman Brackett

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960228_320375644759739_1401603587_nIt’s my pleasure to have cozy mystery author, Charmain Zimmerman Brackett for a cozy chat today.

Hi, Charmain. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

Thank you, Debbie. 

Can you please give us some information about your books or current series?

I have two books in Grace’s Augusta Mystery Series. The first is Murder Under the Magnolias and the second, which is being released today, October 27, is Murder En Pointe.

The series takes place in my hometown of Augusta, Ga. In the first book, I thought about a special event that happens the first week of every April. There’s a prestigious golf tournament here, and it brings in a lot of visitors from all over the globe. I began to surmise what else might be taking place in my cozy town during this tournament. Anywhere there’s lots of money flowing, there’s bound to be a variety of vices as well, and that led me to plot out a murder on the fringes of the tournament.

charmainscoverMurder En Pointe is about a Russian ballet troupe visiting Augusta when the star ballerina is killed. I have three adult children who spent a lot of time dancing. Two of my adult daughters teach ballet, and both my youngest daughter and my son plan to audition as dancers for cruise lines. Since it’s been an important part of all of our lives, I wanted to integrate it into a book. I also have an idea formulating on book three.

Those sound wonderful. It’s always helpful to use real life experiences to generate ideas for a book. Would you like to share an excerpt from your new release?

Yes, Thank you, Debbie. Here’s one from Murder En Pointe:

I walked around and listened.

 Silence – an eerie silence, at that.

 I seemed to be alone, but for some reason, I felt like someone was watching me. I felt a shiver down my spine. I’d never heard of a phantom at this theater. I felt the urge to get out of there as fast as I could. I wanted to run.

I put my hand on the door handle and paused as I felt another shiver. That urge to run was even stronger. I knocked on the door and waited. Despite the feeling of dread, I opened the door, and what I saw as I entered the dressing room shocked me. I saw a woman lying on her back on the floor. It was Aleksandra. Wearing a beautiful, silk, Asian-inspired robe, the same leotard and tights from earlier, and a pair of pink pointe shoes on her feet, she lay motionless.

I stepped back and paused for what seemed like an eternity. Of course, it was probably only a few seconds. I couldn’t scream, but my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. When I finally got my bearings, I placed the flowers on the makeup counter in front of the wall of mirrors and then stared into the reflection. There was something written in Russian in red lipstick on one of the dressing room mirrors. Another mirror was broken and several of the light bulbs that surrounded it were broken as well. Bloodied glass shards lay on the counter and pulverized purple eye shadow glittered on the floor. Several containers littered the carpet as though Aleksandra had entered a massive struggle right before her violent end.

I noticed a second pair of pointe shoes beside her. Saturated in blood, the shoes’ ribbons were laced around her neck, and orchid blossoms were scattered atop her still body. There was blood on her hands, which were resting by her side. It was odd. It didn’t seem like a natural position. My own hands started shaking as I took it all in. I felt dizzy. Where was my phone? I rummaged through my purse until I found it. Speed dial 2 for my husband.

“Hey, baby. I was just getting ready to call you,” I heard Drew on the other end of the call.

I continued to stare.

“Grace? Are you there?”

“Drew” was all I could say.

“What’s wrong?”

“Could you come to the dressing rooms at the Bell?”

The words seemed to be stuck in my throat. I tried to clear it.

“What’s the matter, Grace?”

“I think there’s been another murder.”

“I’m on my way.”

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Yes. I’ve written three YA science fiction fantasy books (The Key of Elyon, Elyon’s Cipher and Elyon’s Light), two illustrated children’s books (Little Pearl’s Circus World, which won the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Award in children’s literature, and Nutcrackers and Pirates: A Boy’s Journey into Dance),  an inspirational contemporary fiction stand-alone (Fixed in the Tempest),and the Victoria James’ cozy mystery novella series, which has six stories in it. The first in the Victoria James’ series is Murder at Twin Oaks.

My debut novel, The Key of Elyon, won the 2014 Yerby Award for Fiction at the Augusta Literary Festival.

Nice. You seem talented in many genres.

How did you get started in writing?

I don’t remember when I first started writing. I think I always have. I wrote some for both my high school and college newspapers. When I was in college, people automatically assumed that I would be a teacher because my major was English. I had a huge fear of speaking in front of people or even talking to people I didn’t know. I knew I couldn’t stand in front of a group of students on a daily basis. This fear led me to a career in journalism. The irony was that while I could hide in a crowd, I still had to talk to people I didn’t know.

Very interesting. I, too, worked on my college newspaper where I won a journalism award. I also was an English major and didn’t want to be a teacher. I became a librarian instead. I also dislike speaking in front of groups, but I’m beginning to get more comfortable with it as I’ve been doing author talks at libraries.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I hope this doesn’t come across as rude or arrogant, but writing has never been a hobby. It’s the only career I’ve ever known. I have written for newspapers and magazines since I graduated college nearly 30 years ago.

As for hobbies, I started doing community theater in 2006 as a way to combat my fear of being in front of people. I’ve been in several plays and loved every minute of it. My favorite role was Glinda the Good in the Wizard of Oz, and yes, I got to fly in a bubble. It was amazing.

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies, and I also read all of the Oz books. Like you, I’ve written for newspapers and magazines. My first articles were about cats when I joined the Cat Writer’s Association, and I am still a member today.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I consider myself to be a Southern writer. I’m from the South, and my characters are from the South. But I don’t want my characters to come across as caricatures who explode with “Southern sounding sayings” all the time. While they may say these things, it’s not designed to be cutesy. It’s part of who they are. My characters are based on real people with real feelings and complex personalities.

I think those types of characters are the best because they are more realistic to readers who can identify with them. I, too, am a character-oriented writer.

Can you please list your social media links and book links?

Thanks so much. I’ve enjoyed having you on Cozy Chat, Charmain. Best wishes to you on your new release and future books.

 

 

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Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Peg Cochran

cozycatpicToday’s guest for a Cozy Chat is Peg Cochran about her Farmer’s Daughter Series.

Hi, Peg. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

NoFarmNoFoulCan you tell us a little bit about the Farmer’s Daughter series? What gave you the idea for it?

My agent and I tossed various ideas around. She had the idea for a farmer who blogs, and I really liked the concept.  I decided I wanted to do something a little different so I made her a young widow with an almost teenaged daughter and an eight-year-old son.  She blogs about cooking, farming, raising children and life in general which, on Love Blossom Farm, is sometimes a little crazy!

Sounds nice. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Never give up! I had 400 rejections on three projects I’d been circulating to agents for two years when I finally got my “big break” thanks to a writing buddy who put me in touch with her agent about a project. Another bit of advice—network with other writers through on-line writers’ groups.  You never know who might open a door for you.  As for writing cozies, the key is a strong “hook.”

Wow! That’s impressive. Being persistent is definitely important for authors. I’m currently looking for an agent myself and, although I haven’t sent out nearly as many queries as you mentioned, I don’t let the rejections deter me.

What are you currently working on?

I just received the copy-edits from my editor for the third Cranberry Cove release, Dead and Berried. The second Farmer’s Daughter book, Sowed to Death, is scheduled for release in 2017. The first one, “No Farm, No Foul”  is scheduled for release today, September 6, and I’m working on the fifth book in my e-book Lucille Series coming out through Beyond the Page Publishing.

Sounds like a full schedule. I also juggle several books and other writing projects. Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Right now I am very busy with my cozies, but I’m doing research for a proposal for a historical mystery, and I’d love to try my hand at suspense. I like a challenge!

I think that’s great. Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

By reading. Reading Nancy Drew gave me the urge to write a mystery although my first writing, done when I was around seven, was plays that I forced my cousins to perform at Christmas dinner!

Nice story. What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading, of course, and I love to cook.  I’m hopeless at needlework of any kind, and forget scrapbooking—the only pictures that have made it into albums are through 1984!

LOL. It’s hard to find the time for hobbies when you write, but reading is always helpful.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

IMG_2845I love hearing from readers! They can contact me through my website: pegcochran.com. 

Thanks for the interview, Peg, and best wishes on your upcoming cozies and other books.

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Dogs

Cozy Chat with Kassandra Lamb

cozycatpicImage00005My  cozy chat guest today is Kassandra Lamb about her  Marcia and Buddy cozy mystery series.

Hi, Kassandra. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

Can you tell us a little bit about the Marcia and Buddy series? What gave you the idea for it?

I’m a retired psychotherapist and all of my books have psychological themes. I have another series that has 8 books and 4 novellas in it. I was starting to run low on ideas and inspiration for that series (although I will always love those characters). Then I read an article about service dogs for PTSD sufferers and I thought that would make a great series, with a protagonist who trains these dogs for combat veterans with PTSD.

Developing Marcia’s character has been challenging. She’s a thirty-something divorcee with a bit of snark in her personality, and yet she is dedicated to her dogs and to helping her veteran clients. And that’s how she ends up getting sucked into the messes in their lives.

ToKillALabrador PROMO FINALIn Book 1, To Kill A Labrador, Marcia (pronounced Mar-see-a, not Marsha) is called in to dog-sit Buddy, a Black Labrador who was the first dog she trained. His owner, a former Marine, has been arrested for murdering his wife. Marcia ends up trying to clear him and almost gets herself and Buddy killed in the process.

Book 2, Arsenic and Young Lacy is about to be released. It’s available now for preorder for $1.99  until 9/5/16. Book 1 in the series is currently on sale for $0.99 through 9/3. (Both are regularly $3.99)

That’s terrific, Kassandra. I’m a librarian and so is the protagonist in my Cobble Cove mystery series. I also like to get into the minds of my characters, and in my upcoming standalone, I deal a lot with psychological issues. I have to admit, though, that I’m a cat lover. However, I do have a dog as well  a cat in both “A Stone’s Throw” and its sequel, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” that is coming out this fall.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new release planned soon? If so, please provide details about it. Is it part of the series or the start of something else or a standalone?

ArsenicAndYoungLacy FINALI just finished Arsenic and Young Lacy (Book 2). It’s now available for preorder. Here’s the blurb:

Sweet, adorable Lacy has stolen Marcia Banks’ heart, but money is tight. Like it or not, the service dog trainer needs to complete the human phase of the training and deliver the dog to her new owner in order to get paid. But the ex-Army nurse-client turns out to be a challenging trainee. On top of her existing neuroses–which go beyond the psychological damage from a sexual assault during her second tour in Afghanistan–the veteran is now being stalked.

When Marcia  receives a bizarre warning to stay away from her client and Lacy is also caught in the stalker’s malicious orbit, Sheriff Will Haines steps in to investigate. Marcia finds this both endearing and annoying, especially when he expects her to stay on the sidelines. The training fee would make her solvent again, but how can she put her dogs at risk?

Maybe Marcia should be more worried about herself since the stalker has decided to pay her off in a very different way.

Sounds wonderful. There’s a stalker in “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” although the stalker is not central to the plot.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

I only write mysteries but I do write in several subgenres. Some of my books would qualify as romantic suspense and I’ve even written a thriller.

But recently I’ve really gotten into cozies. They’re fun to write!

Yes, cozies are fun to both read and write. I had originally considered “A Stone’s Throw” to be romantic suspense, but my reviewers considered it a cozy, and so I wrote another even cozier than the first. My upcoming book is going to be quite different.  I consider it a psychological thriller.

How did you get started in writing?

I’ve always loved to write. I wrote professional articles and edited a newsletter during my career as a psychotherapist. I even enjoyed writing test questions when I was teaching college, something most professors hate.

But becoming a published author of fiction seemed like an unreachable dream when I was younger. I had a manuscript going, but I could never seem to get past the fifth chapter. I just kept rewriting the beginning of the story.

Then when I retired, I finally started working on that manuscript in earnest, and once I got rolling, there was no stopping me.               

I still sit back in wonder occasionally and contemplate the turn my life has taken. Dreams really can come true if you work at it.

Nice story. I also edited my college paper and graduate school newsletter. I agree completely that dreams are attainable if you don’t give up on them.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Never give up on your dream. Keep writing, taking classes, learning your craft. Eventually, your words will find an audience. And it’s never too late. I published my first book at age 59.

That’s inspiring. Although I wrote articles since I was in my 30’s, I didn’t publish my first book until I was in my 40’s, and, although I’m not retired yet, I’m just really getting going now in my 50’s.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading mostly, and on Fridays, I act like the retiree I’m supposed to be. I go to the local senior center and play cards.

Those are both good ways to relax.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

My stories are definitely character-driven. I love creating “people” (maybe I have a touch of a God complex 😉 ) and I try to make my characters interesting and realistic. I get good feedback about them from readers, so I must be fairly successful most of the time.

I also write character-driven stories.

Can you please share with us the buy links for your books and your social media links?

BUY LINKS for To Kill A Labrador

AMAZON US:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DFPXDVY

AMAZON UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/To-Kill-Labrador-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01DFPXDVY

AMAZON CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01DFPXDVY

APPLE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1097155186

KOBO:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/to-kill-a-labrador

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-kill-a-labrador-kassandra-lamb/1123596038

BUY LINKS for Arsenic and Young Lacy

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

AMAZON AUS:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01KNEJ8ZA

APPLE:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/arsenic-and-young-lacy/id1145590139

KOBO:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/arsenic-and-young-lacy

BARNES & NOBLE:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arsenic-and-young-lacy-kassandra-lamb/1124413006

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/KassandraLamb

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/kassandralambauthor

PINTEREST:  http://www.pinterest.com/kassandralamb/

GOODREADS:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5624939.Kassandra_Lamb

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Kassandra-Lamb/e/B006NB5WAI/

UK AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B006NB5WAI/

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Kassandra, and best of luck to you on your current and future books.

 

 

Posted in Authors, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Linda Rawlins

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Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Linda Rawlins for a chat about her cozy mysteries.

Hi, Linda. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, Misty Manor and  what gave you the idea for it?

LindaRawlings2Hi, my name is Linda Rawlins. My new book is named, Misty Manor. Misty Manor is the first of my new series, which takes place at the NJ Shore. I love being at the beach. It relieves my stress. I love the setting. The Grand Victorian homes are gorgeous and I often wonder what it was like to live there in the 1800’s. I believe many people go to the beach and ocean to relax.

Yes, the sea can be very relaxing, and the setting of you book sounds charming. I’ve enjoyed vacations on the Jersey Shore especially Cape May. I’m also a lover of Victorian architecture and featured one in my short historical romance story, “The Seashell and the Stone” that I recently published with a group of other authors in the Love, Always anthology that is available exclusively as a contest prize and giveaway in my newsletter and on my Facebook takeovers.

LindaRawlings3Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

The most important advice I can give to writers is to write every day!! When I started writing, I spent time trying to make sure the first chapter was perfect before I went on to the next. I soon learned it was better to simply write the story. The initial story is similar to a rough stone. Through editing, you begin to polish that stone. With every level of editing, content, grammar, line, and copy, you continue to polish your manuscript until it is a sparkling gem. So just relax and write! You can add, subtract and edit later.

That is excellent advice. I have always written that way and know that editing is the tough part, but allowing the words to flow and the story to unfold initially without interruption is vital. What are you currently working on?

I have begun to work on the next book of the Misty Manor series. It can be read as a standalone, but will continue the story of Megan Stanford and Misty Manor. I like to read and write mystery fiction.

LindarawlingsMy other series, Rocky Meadow Mystery series, takes place in Vermont at a catholic retreat center. A trauma surgeon, Dr. Amy Daniels, flees to Vermont after she learns she saved the life of a man who killed her sister. There she meets a psychologist priest, Father Michael Lauretta, and together they solve mysteries while she works through her pain. They are helped by Tony Noce, a former NYPD cop, Katie Novak, rectory cook and housekeeper and Willow Davis, a millionaire teenager abandoned by her parents. The three books, The Bench, Fatal Breach and Sacred Gold can be read as standalones or in order.

Very nice. I also just signed a contract for the second book of my Cobble Cove novels that started with “A Stone’s Throw.” It can also be read as a standalone but will feature the same characters with some new ones, as well, with a different storyline and mystery.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I always dreamed of writing a book and started my first mystery novel in fifth grade. I would write various things but was always pulled away by my day job. I finally dedicated myself in 2010! 

I was a prolific reader as a child. I started by reading my grandmother’s books, written by Phyllis Whitney, Emily Loring and Victoria Holt. I had also read most of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy mysteries by the time I reached fifth grade and started to write my own mystery. Realizing my love for reading and writing, my fifth grade teacher allowed me to take a book, which he self-published, home to show my parents. I am sure that day was one of the most inspirational for my writing.

In addition to my studies, I continued to read as much fiction as I could through high school and won first place in a poetry contest. The novels I choose covered most genres – mystery, romance, sci-fi, horror and fantasy.

In college, I studied different forms of literature, reading American Classics and English Novelists as well as majoring in PreMed. During college, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov and Dr. Ruth.  Over the years I’ve also met many writers such as Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Bain, Diana Gabaldon and others.

I studied hard and went to Medical School. I no longer had time to read fiction, but I did have the privilege of meeting many wonderful people. Working with them, they shared many wonderful, emotional, painful and special experiences and I believe it is a combination of all these personalities which helped to make up my characters.

Eventually, I was able to return to reading fiction and begin to write my own stories.

That sounds very much like my own experience. I was also an avid reader as a kid and, coincidentally, loved the authors you mentioned. I was a big fan of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I’ve been writing in one form or other since I learned how. My first published works were articles for my college newspaper followed by articles I published in pet magazines. I then advanced to a short story in a mystery anthology before self-publishing my first novel and then publishing “A Stone’s Throw” with Limitless Publishing. My new mystery, tentatively called. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” will be published by Solstice Publishing.

What are your hobbies besides writing? 

My day job is that of a board certified family physician and I have met many wonderful people! I also love to read, sing, walk, hike in Vermont, and above all spend time with my family!

Those sound like nice and relaxing past-times, Linda. I’m a librarian so, of course, my main hobby is reading which fits right in with my writing. I’m also a big cat lover and have two of cats of my own that are part of my family that includes my husband and daughter.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I want to thank all my readers for reading my books. I love hearing from readers and am honored they have read my work. 

I love all my novels and each is special in a unique way. However, I read to escape and I love to go to the beach to relax, renew and reorganize. Misty Manor is my favorite as I was able to visit my favorite place each time I started writing.  I hope you will too!

Our days are never guaranteed. Always love one another and Happy Reading!

I feel the same way, Linda. I’m including your social media links, so readers can keep in touch with you. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. I am also reading Misty Manor right now and will post a review of it soon. So far, I’m enjoying it very much. It’s like I’m vacationing back on the Jersey Shore.

Keep in touch with Linda at:

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Dianne Harman

cozycatpicToday, I have the pleasure of chatting with Dianne Harman about her High Desert cozy mystery series.

Hi, Dianne. Thanks for joining us. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

 

HDCS_1Can you tell us a little bit about your series? What gave you the idea for it?

My husband’s uncle lived in a compound with three other artists in the high desert outside of Palm Springs, California. We visited him several times, and I was always charmed by the four homes which surrounded a central courtyard. It had a large tree filled with twinkling lights, and it stayed with me. I was an art and antique appraiser prior to becoming an author, and it was a natural to combine the two. I love food and dogs, so they found their way in as well. One of the people who lives in the compound has a food truck, the antique appraiser has a black Labrador retriever who wears pink booties, and I have a recipe section in all of my books.

Very nice. Books always seem more realistic when authors base them on their own experiences and knowledge. My book, A Stone’s Throw, features a librarian like me and a cat and dog. I’m a pet lover, especially of cats, and the Siamese in the book is based on my 16-year old cat, Oliver.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Just do it! You don’t need one more class, one more critique group, one more anything. You learn as you go, and believe me, the more you write, the more you’ll learn.

I agree. Even though writing classes and groups can be helpful, experience is the best teacher.

What are you currently working on?

I launched a new series this week, the Jack Trout Cozy Mystery Series. One of my books in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery Series is about an English guide being murdered while fishing in Cuba. My husband and I were fortunate enough to go to Cuba recently with Jack, who is a fishing guide. People responded so favorably to Jack and his wife, Carola, that I decided to do a series about them and fishing different places. Murdered in Argentina, released July 18th, is based on a trip we recently took with them to Chile and Argentina. I fell in love with a small little town, San Martin de Los Andes, and decided to base the book there.

That sounds terrific. Best of luck with that. I’m sure there will be a lot of interest from your readers.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

I wrote the Coyote Series, three psychological thrillers, prior to writing cozy mysteries.

Interesting. I just finished a psychological thriller tentatively titled “Sea Scope” that I hope to publish next year. My sequel to “A Stone’s Throw” will hopefully be out soon, as well, and I have a great idea for a pet cozy series that I’d like to start. 

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

My husband and I were attending a wedding in Palm Springs, California. It was October and the temperature was 107. The air conditioning was so quiet that I happened to make the comment “Wouldn’t it be wild if someone put a ‘feel good drug’ in the air conditioner and everyone felt good all the time?” My husband looked at me and said the words that started a whole new career for me, “Why don’t you write a book about it?” And so I did.

What a great story.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love to cook, and I love to read. Plus, you’ll always find at least one dog in our household, often more than that!

Pets are great additions to a home. They really become part of the family. I have one daughter, but my two male cats are almost like baby sons to me.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I’m just so grateful that readers have consistently made my books best sellers. This was something that was never planned when the word “retirement” came up, but I love every minute of it!

I can imagine what a great feeling that is, Diane. I’m just starting to build my writing business although I’ve been writing for a long time. I hope to be as successful as you. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it to know there are people reading and enjoying your books. I hope I can also make it a full-time career when I retire in ten years or so.

Can you share some links with us of your social media sites and Amazon page?

Amazon: http://ow.ly/s6pN5 
Web Site http://www.DianneHarman.com
Blog: http://dianneharman.com/blog/
Twitter: @DianneDHarman

Thanks so much. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. Best of luck on your new series and forthcoming books.

 

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Harper Lin

cozycatpicToday’s Cozy Chat is with Harper Lin who I spoke with about her Cape Bay Cafe mysteries.
Hi, Harper.  Thanks for joining me for a Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

capebaycafemysteryCan you tell us a little bit about the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery series? What gave you the idea for it?

I don’t live near the beach, but always thought it would be fun to. I also love cafes. Whenever I travel, the cafe scene in a city or town is very important to me, so this series is really fantasy fulfillment for me, to live in a friendly small town, running a cozy cafe where all the locals congregate—except for all the murders, of course!

Sounds like fun and a great theme for a cozy mystery series.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

It’s easier to write a mystery when you plot it out first. Write down who the killer is, what their motive is, and a few other suspects and their possible motives. Sometimes I can’t plot out everything beforehand because the characters need to develop and discover as they go, but I do put down the bare bones of the story first.

I like that advice. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter, but I definitely agree it’s important to have some basic plot points and a character outline for a mystery. In my mystery, A STONE’S THROW, as well as its sequel which I hope will be published soon, I had an idea who I wanted to be the bad guy (or gal as the case may be), but I did change things toward the end.

What are you currently working on?

harperlinbook1harperlinbook2There is a fourth book in the series called “Latte, Ladyfingers, and Lies.” I also have two other books coming out in my other series, “The Wonder Cats Mysteries“, and “The Patisserie Mysteries“. 

Wow! You write a variety of mysteries. I’m partial to the cat one. I must add it to my TBR cozy pile.

Do you write any genres other than cozies?

No, but I really want to write a young adult series. Perhaps a YA mystery series!

YA books are very popular right now. It would probably do well.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I always read a lot, and I started writing for fun. Then I went down the self-publishing venture after lots of help from other writers and by hiring professional editors. 

As a new author, I’ve found other writers tremendously helpful. They are so eager to share their experience, and the networking and support is very motivational.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love yoga. Sometimes I bake, but I don’t have as much time for that as I used to since I am busy writing all the time. Of course, reading is a big one!

I used to enjoy yoga. Now I’ve just been walking and doing Leslie Sansone videos when I can’t walk outside. The stretching is very important.

I also know what you mean about writing taking up so much time, and most authors are avid readers, as well.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I hope my books are entertaining. Readers tell me that the stories help them relax after stressful days at work, so I’m glad I’m able to entertain them.

Books can be very relaxing, especially cozies. Even though they feature murder and other crimes, some of the characters almost become friends.

Thanks so much for joining me today and best wishes to you on all your series. I’m including some of your contact information for readers who want to connect with you.

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Posted in Authors, Books, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Ellery Adams

cozycatpicelleryadamsThis week’s Cozy Chat is with Ellery Adams who I spoke with about her Books by the Bay mysteries.
Hi, Ellery.  Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.


Can you tell us a little bit about the Books by the Bay series? What gave you the idea for it?

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 11.24.36 AMThis series features a group of aspiring writers turned amateur sleuths. It’s set in a fictional town on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and the seaside setting permeates nearly every scene. I wanted to write a series featuring a very strong, but haunted female protagonist. I also wanted her to be middle-aged. Olivia Limoges is the heroine of the series, though her friends, the Bayside Book Writers, are integral because they bring her out of her shell. As does her standard poodle, Captain Haviland. This is a series for anyone who enjoys complex characters, multi-layered plotlines sprinkled with historical detail, a coastal setting, and literary references.

Sounds quite interesting, Ellery. As a fellow author, I can relate to a mystery involving a writer’s group. In fact, I’m starting one next month at the library where I work. I also love mysteries that involve pets. Mine also has a dog (Fido) and a library cat (Sneaky), as well. The poodle in yours has a wonderful name.

Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

My advice is to write what you feel passionate about – not what you think might sell. If you put your heart (and tons of editing!) into your work, it’s bound to speak to people.

I agree totally. It’s very important to write what you know and love, although the know can be researched. The love has to come from the heart. As far as the tons of editing, that’s also very true. I am editing the sequel to my mystery, A STONE’S THROW, right now, and it’s slow-going because of all the little but important things that need to be smoothed out.

What are you currently working on?

Tomorrow, Feb 26th, I’m releasing an ebook only copy of  A Devious Lot, the 5th Antiques & deviouslotCollectibles mystery. 

MurderInTheSecretGarden_FCI am also working on Murder in the Secret Garden, the 3rd Book Retreat Mystery featuring Jane Steward of Storyton Hall, Virginia.

Screenshot 2015-11-14 19.17.51The 5th installment of the Charmed Pie Shoppe series, Breach of Crust, will hit bookstore shelves on April 5, 2016. Here’s a brief summary:

Plate up another slice of Southern magic and mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Lemon Pies and Little White Lies . . .

  Ella Mae LeFaye’s delicious pies are still drawing long lines—as well as the attention of Beatrice Burbank, president of the Camellia Club, a philanthropic organization comprised of high-society Southern ladies from the charming and affluent town of Sweet Briar, Georgia. To ensure the success of their centennial dessert cookbook, Bea hires Ella Mae to teach the tasty tricks of her trade to the club’s members at their annual retreat. Eager to work on new recipes for customers with food allergies and dietary restrictions, Ella Mae readily agrees.

But when Ella Mae finds Bea’s body floating in Lake Havenwood, she wonders what she’s gotten herself mixed up in. Someone certainly wanted Bea to eat humble pie, and the retreat offers no shortage of unsavory characters, including Ella Mae’s longtime nemesis, Loralyn Gaynor. Ella Mae definitely doesn’t need magic to tell her she must find the killer before someone else gets panned.

That sounds great. Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Not at the moment. I weave other genres into my mysteries (history, literary fiction, and fantasy) but I am planning on trying my hand at women’s fiction in 2016.

Can you also tell me how you got started in writing?

I used to sell homemade books for a quarter apiece to the neighborhood kids. They featured my friends as the heroes and they always had a happy ending.

Wow! That’s interesting. I actually used to make comics as a kid featuring some of my neighbors in different adventures and stories. I never sold them to anyone, but I had funny creating them.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

To be honest, I had more hobbies before I started writing three series, but when I have a rare moment between deadlines, I like to read, bake, garden, binge-watch Masterpiece Theater shows.

I know what you mean. Writing, editing, and promoting have really put a limit on my extra time.  Your interests sound enjoyable, and I’m sure they’re relaxing when you fit them in.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

Just that I’m grateful to any reader for buying my books or asking for them at their local library. It’s a very competitive market out there and it’s getting harder and harder for the mid-list author to survive. The “big names” get all the backing from the publishing companies, but cozy readers are incredibly loyal and do such an amazing job at PR when it comes to a writer/series they love. So thank you. Thank you for keeping our genre going and for being so tireless in supporting cozy mysteries. As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!

I feel the same way, Ellery. As I’m working on my Cobble Cove books, it seems people are beginning to view them as cozies, and although I originally thought they fell into romantic suspense or general mystery, I think they might appeal more to the cozy audience because there’s no explicit violence or sex and I also focus on the characters in a small, fictional town (Cobble Cove, New York).

Thanks for joining me today, and best wishes to you on your series.