Posted in Cozy Series, Guest Post

Character Guest Post by Anastasia Pollack from The Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries by Lois Winston

On Being a Reluctant Amateur Sleuth

By Anastasia Pollack

It isn’t easy when an author hijacks your life for her own literary purposes. One day you’re minding your own business. The next thing you know, your husband drops dead in Las Vegas, leaving you up the wazoo in debt with a loan shark breathing down your neck, your communist mother-in-law as a permanent houseguest, and a dead body glued to your office chair. That’s what happened to me nine books and three novellas ago when author Lois Winston decided to forsake writing romance and began killing people for a living. My name is Anastasia Pollack, and thanks to Lois, I’m the very reluctant amateur sleuth of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

Since turnabout is fair play, I decided to hijack this guest post she was supposed to write and give you my side of the story for a change. Believe me, I would have been perfectly happy to maintain my predictable suburban life. I had two great teenage sons and a job I loved as the crafts editor of a women’s magazine. Granted, it’s not easy raising teenagers, and editors at third-rate women’s magazines don’t make the big bucks, but life was comfortable.

Or so I thought. Lois had other ideas. You see, we characters don’t come with self-determination. We’re putty in our authors’ hands. Now, along with being a widow with debt that rivals the GNP of many Third World nations, I’m juggling a malevolent communist mother-in-law and Manifesto, her French bulldog (I ask you, who names a dog after a political treatise?)

You’d think that would be enough, right? Heck, no! Now, every time I turn around, Lois has me tripping over dead bodies! Does she think I’m New Jersey’s version of Jessica Fletcher? Apparently so.

At least Lois decided to write humorous cozy mysteries. In her prior writing life, she wrote some really gritty romantic suspense that would keep her readers sleeping with one eye open at night, thanks to the extremely evil villains she created. She wrote me into a genre of mystery where readers would protest if she penned plots similar to those of her romantic suspense books. I have it bad, but what she did to poor Emma Wadsworth in Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception…All I can say is thank goodness cozy readers would revolt if she tried to pull that stuff on me!

And I’ll admit, she even has me laughing at times—when she doesn’t have me staring down a killer. You wouldn’t believe the cast of supporting characters Lois has given me. Along with my nasty communist mother-in-law and her dog, there’s my much-married mother, who claims descent from Russian nobility, and her haughty Persian cat, Catherine the Great. And lest I forget (not that he’d allow me to), there’s Ralph, the Shakespeare-quoting parrot. I inherited him from my great-aunt Penelope Periwinkle. We’re all crammed into my tiny mid-century suburban rancher. At least I don’t have to share my bedroom with either my mother or mother-in-law!

Over the course of the series, Lois has also introduced some new characters, one of whom has been driving me bonkers from the moment he entered my life. Ira Pollack, my husband’s previously unknown half-brother, showed up with his three spoiled kids in Revenge of the Crafty Corpse. That was bad enough, but in Drop Dead Ornaments, Lois has him moving from across the state to across town!

When I saw what Lois had planned for me at the start of the series, I staged a revolt, demanding that if she was going to give me so much grief, she had to give me a little light within all the gloom and doom. After all, she’s got me two steps away from living in a cardboard box on a street corner. And believe me, no matter how big a carton, that would be one crowded box! She finally gave in and created Zachary Barnes, the photojournalist who rents the apartment above my garage, and allowed us to develop a relationship.

But we’re talking Lois here. She couldn’t leave well enough alone, and right from the start she has me wondering if Zack is really just a photojournalist or if that profession is cover for a more covert one. Which brings us to A Sew Deadly Cruise, the latest Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. Lois has finally gotten around to revealing some of Zack’s backstory in this book. And believe me, it’s not what I ever expected!

A Sew Deadly Cruise

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 9

Life is looking up for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack. Newly engaged, she and photojournalist fiancé Zack Barnes are on a winter cruise with her family, compliments of a Christmas gift from her half-brother-in-law. Son Alex’s girlfriend and her father have also joined them. Shortly after boarding the ship, Anastasia is approached by a man with an unusual interest in her engagement ring. When she tells Zack of her encounter, he suggests the man might be a jewel thief scouting for his next mark. But before Anastasia can point the man out to Zack, the would-be thief approaches him, revealing his true motivation. Long-buried secrets now threaten the well-being of everyone Anastasia holds dear. And that’s before the first dead body turns up.

Craft projects included.

Buy Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fwHR7X

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-sew-deadly-cruise

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sew-deadly-cruise-lois-winston/1137427499?ean=2940162697930

Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-sew-deadly-cruise/id1526052822

Bio:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Website: www.loiswinston.com

Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5

Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston

Posted in Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cover Reveal for No Gravestone Unturned: Cobble Cove Book #5

Coming soon from Solstice Publishing, No Gravestone Unturned, the 5th Cozy Mystery in my Cobble Cove series.

Blurb:

It’s October in Cobble Cove, and Alicia is busy preparing for the library’s Halloween party when she learns that John’s aunt from Florida has died and that John’s cousins and their spouses are coming to town to bury their mother. The day after the funeral, the caretaker’s son is found dead by John’s grandfather’s gravestone, from a blow on the head. The only witness seems to be Sneaky the library cat, who, having left the library, turned up at Alicia’s door with blood and dirt on him.

As Alicia, Gilly, and Sheriff Ramsay investigate, a generation of family secrets is uncovered. Are one of the guests staying at the inn a killer? Will the humans solve the crime, and can Sneaky, Kittykai, and Salem, the inn’s guest cat, team up to help?

Have you read the 4 full-length books in the series and the three short eBooks? Find them and my other books here.

Posted in Cozy Series, Reviews

Review of Academic Curveball : A Kellan Arywick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1) by James Cudney IV

Purchase Links:

eBook (and Kindle Unlimited): https://amzn.to/2LOOc2g

Paperback: https://amzn.to/2RMjXNs

Audio: https://amzn.to/35eaDWk

Five Stars *****

Academic Curveball is the second book I’ve read by James J. Cudney and the first of his Braxton Campus cozy mysteries. Having enjoyed his first novel, the standalone family saga Watching Glass Shatter that I reviewed here, I was curious to see how he would handle a cozy mystery. I wasn’t disappointed. The characters in Academic Curveball were all well portrayed. I especially liked Kellan, the main character, a widower with a young daughter who was called home for his father’s retirement party as president of Braxton College. Upon his return, Kellan who is currently working for Dark Realities, a television reality crime show, plans to meet Professor Abby Monroe who has material for the second season of his show after his father’s party. Unfortunately, he never gets to do so because Abby’s dead body is found during the party by his father’s assistant Lorraine Candito.

A number of people, some close to Kellan including his own father, are suspects in Abby’s murder, but the murder weapon is missing along with two other items, one that was intended as a gift to Kellan. The motive is believed to have involved the changing of a grade for an athlete so he can compete in a game that a college scout will attend. But when another murder occurs and they find the possible weapon hidden in Kellan’s father’s desk, Kellan has even more reason to solve the case despite the warnings by the town’s female sheriff who refers to him as “Little Arywick.”

Aided by his sassy grandmother, Nana D. and his old school friend Connor who is dating both his sister Eleanor and his college girlfriend Maggie, Kellan sets out to find the person responsible for the murders. Although I had a funny feeling about the character who the killer ended up being, I didn’t know the identity of the murderer until it was unveiled . . .  and then it all made sense. What surprised me even more was the cliffhanger at the end of the book that was totally unexpected. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but I love double twists. This one was done exceptionally well. I can’t wait to read the second book where it should be explained. My only criticism of this book was that the plethora of characters were introduced close together which made it somewhat difficult to keep them all straight initially. Otherwise, I highly recommend this series to those who like academic settings, a variety of interesting characters including a male protagonist, and cozy mysteries with lots of subplots and twists.

In addition to being a talented writer, Cudney also has a terrific WordPress blog called This is My Truth Now.

Posted in Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Series, Spotlight

Spotlight for A Bad Hair Day Cookbook by Nancy J. Cohen

A Bad Hair Day Cookbook:
Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
by Nancy J. Cohen

About the Book


A Bad Hair Day Cookbook: Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series
Cozy Cookbook
Orange Grove Press (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 324 pages
ISBN-10: 099979325X
ISBN-13: 978-0999793251
Digital ASIN: B07XSH6C7B

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes. Bonuses Include:

•Meet the Sleuth
•Introduction by Marla Vail
•Cooking Tips
•Excerpts from Series Titles
•Themed Menu Suggestions
•“A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors

Recipes are listed in these categories:

APPETIZERS
BEVERAGES
BREADS
SAUCES
SOUPS
ENTREES – BEEF
ENTREES – LAMB
ENTREES – POULTRY
ENTREES – FISH
ENTREES – VEGETARIAN
SIDE DISHES
DESSERTS

“Reading through this cookbook has revived my interest in getting back in the kitchen.” Rhonda Gilliland, Author and Editor of the Cooked to Death Series

“Designed for busy cooks who may not be out solving crimes, but whose time is equally challenged.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Mysteries and cookbooks belong side by side on readers’ shelves. A Bad Hair Day Cookbook serves up both food and justice.” Christine A. Jackson, Ph.D., Author of Myth and Ritual in Women’s Detective Fiction

APPLE RUM CAKE

I like this recipe that uses an easy cake mix and prepared pie filling. When you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, convenience matters. Whip this up to impress your dinner guests and serve with vanilla ice cream for extra pizzazz.

Ingredients

15.25 oz. box spice cake mix

21 oz. can apple pie filling

3 eggs

¾ cup light sour cream

¼ cup rum

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

⅔ cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. reduced fat milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1 Tbsp. cake mix and 1½ cups of pie filling. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, rum, canola oil, almond extract, remaining cake mix and pie filling. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into a greased fluted cake pan. In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, reserved 1 Tbsp. cake mix and pie filling. Spoon over batter. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 45 minutes.

Cool on rack. Invert cake onto plate. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk. Dribble over cake as a glaze. Slice and serve.

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won a Readers’ Favorite gold medal, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy’s instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery, was nominated for an Agatha Award and won a gold medal at the President’s Book Awards from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links

Website: https://nancyjcohen.com

Blog: https://nancyjcohen.com/blog

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyjcohen

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nancyjcohen

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/njcohen/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-j-cohen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/nancyjcohen

Purchase Links – Amazon Kindle Amazon Print Apple Books Nook Kobo Books2Read BookBub Goodreads

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 20 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

November 22 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

November 22 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Ruff Drafts – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST

November 24 – Nadaness In Motion – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

November 25 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 26 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 27 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 27 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

November 27 – Diary of a Book Fiend – REVIEW

November 28 – THANKSGIVING – OFF

November 29 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE

November 29 – Celticlady’s Reviews – REVIEW

November 30 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 30 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Cozy Series, Reviews

Review of Mrs. Morris and the Ghost, the first of a new cozy mystery series by Traci Wilton

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1496721519/

I picked up this paperback book because I thought it would make a nice Halloween read, but I think people would enjoy it any time of year. Taking place in Salem, Massachusetts, the main character is Charlene Morris, a recently widowed, fortyish lady who moves from Chicago to Salem to open a bed and breakfast in a Victorian mansion. There are a nice assortment of characters including a handsome ghost, the previous owner of the house who can’t move on until his murder is solved. Charlene decides to take on this task. It’s a charming book that will keep you guessing, and it also features a cat. The second book of the series is previewed at the back.

 

Posted in Cozy Series, New Releases

Book Blast: Natural Thorn Killer: A Rose City Mystery by Kate Dyer-Seeley

BOOK BLAST

About the Book

Natural Thorn Killer (A Rose City Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (March 27, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496705136
Digital ASIN: B073NPHX8Z

Cut down among the flowers . . .

Britta Johnston might be a late bloomer, but after leaving her deadbeat husband and dead-end job, she’s finally pursuing her artistic passion at her aunt Elin’s floral boutique, Blooma, in Portland, Oregon. It’s on the banks of the Willamette, in a quaint district of cobblestone paths and cherry trees. The wine bar featuring Pacific Northwest vintages is a tasty bonus, offering another kind of bouquet to enjoy. But things aren’t as peaceful as they look.

For one thing, someone’s been leaving dead roses around—and a sleazy real estate developer who wants the waterfront property has put a big-money offer on the table. Then, after a contentious meeting of local business owners, he’s found on the floor of the shop, with Elin’s garden shears planted in his chest. And before the police decide to pin the crime on her beloved aunt, Britta will have to find out who arranged this murder . . .

About the Author

Kate Dyer-Seeley aka Ellie Alexander writes multiple mystery series, all with a Pacific Northwest touch. She lives in the PNW with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Author Links

Facebook Twitter Instagram GoodReads

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS
Amazon B&N Hudson Booksellers IndieBound BAM

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Posted in A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Cozy Series, Freebies and Special Offers, Written in Stone

Holiday Promo – 3 books, 3 days only – 99 cents each – December 1, 2, & 3

The Cobble Cove mystery series is on sale for 99 cents per book. Don’t miss this holiday special running December 1, 2, and 3.  Purchase them all for less than $3. Great to give as gifts, too.

myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

The first book of the series featuring librarian Alicia Fairmont who travels to the small town of Cobble Cove, New York in search of answers about her dead husband’s family and the mysterious hit and run accident that killed him . . . or was it actually murder?

myBook.to/CobbleCove2

It’s holiday time in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York, but the mood is anything but merry because three crimes have hit the town including the kidnapping of baby twins. myBook.to/CC3ebook

A dead body in the library’s mystery section . . . . A missing cat . . . . A strange, beautiful woman who has returned from Alicia’s husband’s past. How are these all connected? Find out in Book 3 of the Cobble Cove mystery series.

Posted in Cats, Cozy Series

Sneaky the Library Cat Talks Books, Blogs, and Groups

I’m proud to have the library cat from my cozy mystery series here to talk about our books and fill my readers in on the latest Cobble Cove news. Hi, Sneaky. thanks for dropping in on my blog.

Hi, Debbie. It’s mice to be here for a change.  For those who don’t know, I have my own blog where I interview cats and other pet characters as well as real-life pets of authors. I’ve had some really interesting guests including a group of llamas recently. You can read and subscribbe to my blog here: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

That sounds great, Sneaky. So tell me what’s going on in Cobble Cove. Any news you’d like to share?

Well, you should know more than me, Debbie, because you’re the author, but I have heard some rumors that a fourth book of the series is in the works.

That’s true. I’ve just started writing the fourth Cobble Cove Mystery. I’m not quite ready to give away any hints about it yet, but maybe you’d like to say something about the first three books since you are featured in all of them.

Yep. I’m a regular character along with Alicia, the librarian; John, the newspaper publisher/mystery author; Fido, my dog co-star, and a bunch of other really fun folks who all live in the small upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York, where most of the action takes place. But, let me tell you, for a cozy small town, this place turns out to be a hotbed of crime; and, by “hotbed,” I don’t mean the warm in the sunny bay window type of hotbed. 

In the first book, A Stone’s Throw, there are a few scenes on Long Island where Alicia, like you, is originally from. One of the settings of the second book is New York City during the holidays; and in our latest, Written in Stone, we are back on Long Island for a bit. 

Since I don’t like to give away spoilers, I will just give a brief overview of each book.

In my first adventure, I am introduced as the library cat of the Cobble Cove Library. I help Alicia uncover clues to a very old mystery in the secret room above the library. It isn’t exactly secret because a previous librarian had stayed there, but I like to add a little drama to my descriptions. 

A Stone’s Throw

ebook: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

paperback: myBook.to/stonesthrow2paper

In the second Cobble Cove mystery, I appear in a children’s storytime at the library. I don’t really help solve the three crimes of burglary, kidnapping, and murder featured in this book, but I provide a bit of comic relief which is an important role in any story.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

ebook: myBook.to/CobbleCove2

paperback: myBook.to/CC2paper

In my latest mystery, I play a big role. Not only do I go missing from the library, but I turn up clues that lead to the person who killed the lady in the library who was wearing the same blouse as Alicia. I also convinced you to let our publisher put my likeness on the cover.  Aren’t I handsome?

Written in Stone

ebook: myBook.to/CC3ebook

paperback: myBook.to/cc3paper

You certainly are, Sneaky, and quite modest. Is there anything else you’d like to say about yourself or our books?

Not purr-ticularly, but I hope I’ve piqued some people’s curiosity and that they check out our series on the links I’ve added underneath the cover of each book. If they want to know more about me or any of the other characters, they can join the Cobble Cove Character Chat group that is hosted each month by a different Cobble Cove resident. I’ve hosted twice and am the current host for September. Each host answers questions from group members, posts excerpts from their scenes in the book, and sponsors a contest for a prize. The winners and new hosts are chosen at the end of each month. https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Thanks for letting the readers know about that, Sneaky. We’re always looking for new members, and I know you are always seeking new pet and pet characters for interviews on your blog.

Yes, Debbie. I love cat chatting with guests. It was fun to talk on your blog, but I must get back to Cobble Cove to help you finish writing our next book and make sure you give me some pawsome scenes. 

I promise I will try, Sneaky. Now for a shameless plug by your author for her other books of various genres that feature cats (sorry, Sneaky).

Check out my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Debbie-De-Louise/e/B0144ZGXPW. Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author and Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Don’t forget to join my author newsletter for updates and monthly contests. Sign up on my website: https://debbiedelouise.com

 

 

 

 

 

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, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with Linda Rawlins

cozycatpic

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.

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