Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Caroline Fardig, Author of Southern Discomfort, First of the Southern B & B Series


I’m pleased to have author Caroline Fardig from Indiana here to speak about her writing and new release, the first of her Southern B & B cozy mystery series, Southern Discomfort,  which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Welcome, Caroline. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I’ve been traditionally published since 2016 with Random House.

Java Jive series

Southern B&B series

I’ve been self-published since 2013.

The Lizzie Hart Mysteries series

Ellie Matthews Novels

That’s great. Tell us a little bit about your books and your new cozy series.

My series are all mysteries, but all have their own personalities.  The Lizzie Hart series and the Java Jive series are fun and modern, with sassy heroines and plenty of romance—not your mama’s cozy mysteries.  The Southern B&B series is more traditionally cozy.  My Ellie Matthews series is vastly different from anything I’ve ever written before.  The books in that series are forensic police procedurals—dark and thrilling with a definite edge.

Southern Discomfort, the first book in the Southern B&B series was just released.

Wonderful. Best wishes with that. Can you 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’d like to continue to keep writing as my full-time job and produce two to four books a year.  My next project will be a psychological suspense novel, which will be a new genre for me.  Right now I’m researching for that story and working on my outline.

Very nice. I’ve written a psychological thriller myself, Sea Scope, that I’m hoping to publish soon.

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

Mystery readers in general would be interested in my books, but I hope to reach a wider audience with my upcoming psychological suspense novel.

It’s always a good idea to reach a different audience. From my experience as a librarian, I know that there are many readers who enjoy several genres.

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

Never give up.  Write daily, and always strive to make your work the best it can be.  Take constructive criticism from knowledgeable people and use it to make your writing better.

Excellent advice.

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

First and foremost, I worried if my writing was good enough.  I didn’t even want to tell my husband that I’d written a book!  But as I let a few people I trusted read it and give me feedback, I realized I could do it and worked to make that dream a reality.  On the business side of things, it was difficult at the beginning as an unknown author to get enough traction and interest to get my name out there and to get an agent.

I think most beginning authors and even those who have published such as myself struggle with both those issues, feeling confident enough in their writing and landing an agent. I’m currently querying agents for my new cozy series.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Yes, I’m a member of the Midwest Writers Guild and Evansville Local Authors.

I think writing groups are great for authors for support as well as constructive criticism.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love to play guitar, sing, write songs, cook, travel, and watch movies.

Those are a nice variety of interests.

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

I like creating characters most of all.  I like marketing the least.  My toughest challenge is trying to figure out what marketing approach works best to get my books noticed in the sea of books that are out in the world.

I think most authors would agree with that. Marketing is so time consuming, and it’s hard to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. It also takes you away from the main work of creating.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I like creating characters with quirky traits and not having to be too serious.

Yes, I also like creating interesting characters and having fun with them.

Can you share a short excerpt from your new release?

“Do you realize that you put the lavender-colored sheets on the bed in the red room and the peach sheets in the blue room?” my sister Delilah asked.

I slapped my forehead. “Cheese and crackers. I’m sorry, D. I’ll fix it.”

She came over and plopped down on her stomach on my bed, facing me. “It’s totally normal for you to be off your game. It may take a long time to bounce back.”

“I know, but . . . I’ve actually got other things on my mind. Sort of.”

Cocking her head to the side, she asked, “What could possibly be bigger than finding a dead body?”

“Finding a way to get Drew out of jail.”

She snorted. “Short of a professionally planned jailbreak, I don’t think you’ve got much of a chance.”

I’d expected that kind of response out of my sister. She was the more pessimistic of the two of us, plus, as she’d alluded to before, she didn’t seem convinced of Drew’s innocence. But she always listened and offered great advice—and I could use some advice right about now. Granted, she might call me crazy and several other not-so-nice things for taking on this kind of dangerous endeavor, which was why I’d kept it from her until now. That aside, I knew she’d be in my corner once she finally came around.

I replied, “Actually, there’s another way I can help Drew, but I doubt you’re going to like it.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Okay. Here goes. Yesterday Drew and I came up with a list of people who might have had a reason to want to kill Jason.”

“Okay . . . that doesn’t sound so bad. What are you going to do with the list? Give it to the police?”

“I tried that. No luck. Rufus wasn’t in a listening mood.”

She shrugged. “Oh. Well, I guess you tried . . .”

“I’m going to do more than that, and this is the part I think you won’t like. I know in my heart that Drew didn’t kill Jason. But since his money is all tied up in the restaurant and they’ve had to close the place, he has no way of making bail, or more importantly, no way of hiring a private investigator to look more deeply into his case.”

“So what can you do? Loan him some money you don’t have?”

“No, I can use this list, talk to people around town, and try to find the police a better suspect than Drew.”

Her face screwed up in confusion. “Are you saying you want to sleuth around like some kind of adult Nancy Drew or something?”

I stuck my tongue out at her. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that.”

“Quinn, I’m not belittling your attempt to help your friend. If you want to know the truth, I think it sounds kind of fun, in a dangerous way. But . . . what in the world do you know about investigating?”

“Nothing. In fact, I’m pretty terrible at it.” Ouch. That hurt to admit out loud. “Yesterday I managed to get some information out of a restaurant critic that Jason had fought with, but it was ugly. Today I tried to talk to Valerie, but that went horribly wrong. Then I tried to follow her, and she caught me.”

“Ooh. That couldn’t have ended well. That woman is a viper.”

“You’re telling me. I’ve decided to call that one a learning experience and work a little smarter from now on.”

“Right. And how do you plan to work smarter?”

I threw my hands in the air. “That’s what I have to figure out. And fast.”

She thought for a moment. “If you don’t mind me saying so, you can be a bit . . . gullible. Naïve. If you do decide to go through with this, when you go out and speak with people, you need to not readily believe everything you hear. It stands to reason that people would have things to hide in this particular situation.”

She wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t something I liked to hear. Straightening in my chair, I said, “I can think more critically. Be more skeptical if I need to be.”

I could see her mulling this over, and just when I thought she wasn’t going to pull her big sister routine, her expression became strained. “Quinn . . . are you sure this is something you should take on? I mean, if Drew didn’t kill Jason, then someone else did. And that someone is still out there running loose. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to insert yourself into the situation. You could get hurt.”

“Drew could get hurt in jail. Who knows what could happen in there?”

“I appreciate that, and I think you’re an amazing friend for even considering taking this on. But you can’t forget about the danger aspect of it. At the end of the day, if it’s someone’s neck on the line, I’d rather it be his than yours.”

There was one more thing I needed to tell her that would eclipse everything else for her. I blew out a breath. “If I don’t figure out who really killed Jason, my neck could be on the line as well. There’s a possibility that the police could find some reason to charge me, too, if they decide Drew and I were in cahoots.”

“What?” she exploded, jumping off the bed so she could pace around the room. “How? Why would they think you’re in cahoots?”

“Because I found the body. And also because of my supposedly flimsy reason to be at a closed restaurant after hours, Detective Flynn told Drew that he thought either Drew and I were in on the murder together, or that I’m covering for him. It may not be just Drew that we need to worry about. Detective Flynn might not have any evidence on me, and I don’t even know that Rufus shares his hunch, but it’s still a valid issue to worry about.”

Delilah’s jaw dropped, and she stopped pacing. “How long have you known about this?”

“Since yesterday morning.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she cried.

I looked down. “I didn’t want to worry you.”

Coming over to kneel in front of me, she took my hands. “Quinn, we’re sisters. We’re supposed to weather the hard stuff together.”

“I know. But . . .”

“No buts. I will not stand for my baby sister being accused of any wrongdoing, especially a freaking murder! We’re going to clear your name once and for all, and if we happen to clear Drew’s in the process, all the better.”

I stared at her. “What do you mean ‘we’? What are you saying?”

“I’m saying I’m going to help you find your suspect. I always have your back, and this is no different. You need a cynical sidekick who can think like a delinquent and talk her way out of a messy situation. I’m the perfect woman for the job. Besides, I could use a little excitement in my life. Don’t tell Papa Sal, but the monotony of B&B management has been getting to me lately.”

Tears sprang to my eyes as I broke into a smile. “You mean it? We’re going to do this together?”

She smiled back at me. “The Bellandini sisters are on the case!”

Great excerpt!

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

I write original songs to go along with all of my Java Jive books, since the main characters are singer-songwriters.  The sheet music can be found at the end of each book, and my recordings of those songs can be found at

What a great idea.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.



Twitter:  @carolinefardig


Thanks so much for the interview, Caroline. It was great meeting you, and I wish you the best on your new series and blog tour.


Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

February #TwitterTales: The Fire

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In February, that photo was of a fire. I wrote my tweets as teasers for my upcoming mystery release, Reason to Die. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

Courtney couldn’t believe she’d escaped the fire set by the madman the press was calling the Handicapped Strangler. Her subconscious fashioned a dream from the memory with Bill, her handicapped partner, out of his wheelchair in the role of a fireman.

The dream continued. “Thank God you’re safe, Courtney,” Bill said. “I owe you my life.”

“You don’t owe me anything. The fire died out between us before I was shot. That’s why I let you go.”

She woke with a start. Was it true? Was her love in ashes?

After the fire, they still had to solve the crimes. As much as Courtney feared the truth would hurt him, she knew it would be as freeing for Bill as it had been for her. The guilt she’d suffered from that long-ago fire was now behind her.

“You could’ve died,” Mark said. “I don’t blame Bill. I’m thankful to him, but I can’t have you risking your life again. You mean too much to me.”

“I have no choice, Mark. I’m a detective. We now know who set the fire and who is behind the murders.”

Being paired again with Bill made things difficult for Courtney. There’d been too much between them and yet not enough. Despite his handicap, he was hunting the killer, the man who’d set fire to his home and nearly killed them both.

Escaping the fire had helped Courtney overcome her fear of flames, but thinking of Bill and Mark, she wondered which man would complete her healing and which one would burn her.

“You know why I have to do this,” Bill said. “I could care less that my house was burned to the ground, and it’s not for you, Courtney. There’s another man in your life now. I have to move on, but I need to catch the Handicapped Strangler first.”

She didn’t know it would end like this. A killer and a madman holding her hostage in a secluded mountain cabin. If only she’d put the pieces together sooner. None of this would’ve happened including the fire as well as the shot that crippled Bill.






Posted in Blog Tour, Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery

Announcing Cover Reveal and Blog Tour for Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes

Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone. And doesn’t our Sheriff Kenni Lowry know that? Well, she knows a lot of things.

Lucy Lowell takes great pride in writing negative reviews in the local newspaper for anything that does not go her way. When Lucy is found dead, it appears to be from natural causes.

But Sheriff Kenni Lowry knows there is more to it because the ghost of her grandfather, the ex-sheriff, is standing over the body.

His presence can only mean one thing: Murder!

Since Kenni’s relationship with Deputy Finn Vincent has heated up, Kenni is having trouble conducting the investigation without Finn questioning her every move.

Can Kenni unravel the mystery on her own or will she have to tell Finn the real reason she knows it was murder—the ghost of her poppa?

It’s blowin’ up a storm and only Kenni knows how it’ll end.



Reveal . . . . .

Dead as a Doornail by Tonya Kappes
will be available May 15 from Henery Press!

It is Available for Pre-Order Today!!

Barnes and Noble:


Goodreads: Dead As A Doornail

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Posted in Books, holidays

A Late Valentine for My Readers from my WIP

I meant to post this on Valentine’s Day, but I’m sure it’s better late than never. It’s an excerpt from my Work In Progress, the 4th Cobble Cove mystery, tentatively called Love on the Rocks. This book takes place around Valentine’s Day. The manuscript is not yet complete because I was waylaid with other projects, but here’s a scene to wet your appetites.

“Alicia, come with me to the Reference Desk. I left a few more decorations there and can use a hand putting them up.”

Alicia followed Sheila back to the desk admiring the paper hearts and flowers hanging from the library’s ceilings and the red streamers that lay across the stacks. Two huge red hearts graced a banner strung across the entranceway over the turnstiles. In the center of each, handwritten in glittery purple script were the names of her best friend and new husband – Gilly and Ron. She knew Gilly would be glad they used her nickname but wasn’t sure the sheriff would approve of the use of his first name. Most of the town resident’s knew him as Ramsay.

Sheila ran around the desk pulling out drawers. She reminded Alicia of a hen tending her chickens. “Gilly and Ramsay are going to be so surprised.”

Alicia agreed. The idea for a combination wedding and Valentine’s Day party was hatched up by Sheila, and it was a great thought. The rest of the staff was busy upstairs where the party would be held arranging more decorations there and putting out all the home-cooked dishes they’d prepared along with the red, pink, and white sheet cake that would be served for dessert.

“What’s this?” Sheila paused in her tossing of decorations atop the desk.

Alicia came over to see what had grabbed the director’s attention. A velvet shaped heart box sat by one of the computer stations. As Alicia came closer, she could see a post-it attached to it with the words, “To Sheila from your secret admirer.”

Sheila smiled. “That Ryan. He knows I have a sweet tooth and am particularly fond of chocolates.” She opened the lid. “My favorites. I know I should wait for the party, but these are just too appealing.”

Alicia watched as Sheila took a few pieces and bit into them. Only a few seconds after she swallowed, her smile faded. She began to choke and clutched her throat.

“Sheila, are you okay?” Alicia rushed over afraid she wouldn’t recall how to do the Heimlich maneuver, but Sheila had already passed out on the floor. “Help!” Alicia called racing to the stairs. The romantic music playing above her drowned out her voice. Just as she grabbed her cell phone to dial 911, Ryan Anderson walked through the door, a huge bouquet of roses in his arms. He stopped short seeing Sheila on the ground. “What happened. Oh, My God!”

“I’m dialing 911 right now,” Alicia said. “She ate some of your chocolates and then passed out. I’m not sure if she choked on a piece.”

“My chocolates? I didn’t get her any chocolates. I was bringing her these flowers.” He dropped them on the desk and then knelt down and started administering CPR to Sheila’s unmoving body.

Although this book can be read as a standalone, you might want to check out the first 3 in the series before it’s released.

A Stone’s Throw

Book blurb:

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York. She hopes to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. Her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?


When she entered the storage room, she didn’t see Sneaky, although she thought he might’ve headed there to use his litter box. Cats can be quiet and liked to sleep in the strangest spots, so he could be there in some corner. Mac’s jacket was still draped across the chair by the desk. She laughed recalling the story about what Sneaky had once done to it out of spite, so typical of an angered cat. She sat in the chair and perused the stack of books on the desk. A few were from James Patterson’s “Private” series. She didn’t read too many series and had only read a few of Patterson’s standalone titles. As she was about to choose a book from the pile, she heard scratching in the corner. She jumped. Hopefully, that was Sneaky and not a mouse he hadn’t caught, for this place probably attracted them. She walked cautiously to the corner where she’d heard the noise. It wasn’t coming from the litter box under the window but from the opposite side.

Since the one bulb in the room was dim, she could hardly see in the dark recesses of the room. She wished she had a flashlight. As she approached the area where she heard the noise, she saw a bunch of boxes. She was relieved to see Sneaky scratching the side of one, cardboard pieces scattered at his feet.

“Oh, Sneaky,” she said. “You scared me, but you’re only using a box for a scratching post.”

The cat, caught in the act, stopped in mid-scratch and scampered away through his cat flap. Alicia made a note to speak to John about helping her find a real scratching post for Sneaky, but before she left the room, she went over to the boxes. She figured they contained more books, but when she looked inside the one Sneaky had been scratching, she saw a few papers bundled together with rope. Newspapers? They weren’t that thick. She realized as she picked up the first bundle, they were a stack of letters. She felt uneasy snooping through them and was about to toss them next to the other two stacks in the box when she caught the name on the top envelope, Miss Carol Parsons. Her heart thudded in tempo with the rain. Were these the letters Mac wrote to Peter’s mother all those years ago? If so, how had Mac gotten them back?

Amazon Universal Purchase Link:

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Book blurb:

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?


Luckily, some of the light posts that still graced Cobble Cove streets and were adorned with garland this time of year provided illumination for her as she headed down Bookshelf Lane. In the distance, she could hear some Christmas music. Straining to hear the melody, she realized it was coming from the direction of Cobble Corner. The shops must be keeping late hours for the holidays, she thought.

Just as Alicia was about to turn on to Stone Throw Road, she heard footsteps behind her. No one else seemed to be on the road except her. The footsteps were muffled by the music coming from the shops, but she had good hearing. She began to walk faster, and the steps behind her increased to match her pace. She was afraid to turn, but as the music swelled away, she heard someone breathing.

Amazon Universal Purchase Link:

Written in Stone

Book blurb:

Alicia McKinney is confused . . . .

Was the strange email her husband received from the fictional detective in their mystery series a threat? Did the killer mistake the woman shot in the library for Alicia or the victim’s twin sister?

Cat vs. Dog . . .

After Sneaky goes missing from the library, will he turn up before a young girl becomes ill with worry over his disappearance? And will he return in time to outsmart Fido by being first to find the perpetrator’s smoking gun?

Alicia is worried . . .

While waiting for the killer’s next move, Alicia has other concerns. An old flame of John’s is in town and her friend, Gilly, has adopted the role of Miss Marple to aid her sheriff boyfriend in his investigation.

When all clues point to one of her co-workers, Alicia joins Gilly in searching for the answers to the mystery.

Will they survive . . . .

or is their ending written in stone?


The scream echoed through the library. Alicia, Gerry, Donald, Bonnie, and Gladys rushed from different areas and converged into the 364 section where Gilly stood shaking, her hand pointing at the ground where a body lay face down. The first thing Alicia noticed besides the blood and the gaping hole in the back of the woman’s head was the light purple blouse the victim wore. It was the same one she’d admired in the window of Chloe’s Closet and bought on sale a few days ago. It was the same blouse she herself wore to work this morning and the one she’d mentioned to her editor the night before. “Oh, my God! It’s Mary Beth,” she said.

Gerry took his cell phone out of his pocket. “Don’t touch anything,” he instructed. “I’m calling 911.”

As a bunch of onlookers gathered on both sides of the aisle, Alicia tried to keep things calm. There were whispers and exclamations. Adele Wexler, at the front of the crowd was observing the event with excitement as if she were happy to be present for a real-life murder.

“Looks like 911 won’t do anything for her. We should call Ramsay,” said Donald. “We also have to close the library. I’ll go lock the doors and put up a sign, but I don’t think we should let people leave.”

Amazon Universal Purchase Link:


Posted in holidays

Happy Valentine’s Day to my Readers and all those who Love Books

I sponsor a contest in my newsletter each month. For February, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I asked my subscribers to answer the question, “What do you love about reading?” Below are some of the responses. If you want to comment with your own reason, please do. If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, sign up before March 1st. to be notified of the next contest. You can sign up at or send your email to me at, and I can add you to the list.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Who needs chocolate, when you can savor a good book?

Reasons People Love to Read . . . . 

Books are food for my soul. They inspire, uplift, occasionally depress, teach, and entertain me all at the same time. They allow you to escape and use your imagination. Books give you the chance to live someone else’s life and learn from their mistakes so that you don’t make those same mistakes in reality. The really good ones can teach you about what is important in life, and how what one person does affects those around them. They make you realize that, behind every person, there is a mind, a heart, and thoughts. The really good ones change my life, change my outlook on things, or make me want to be a better person. Reading is such an intimate experience because literature affects everyone in different ways and we all envision the stories different ways. The book comes from one mind, but ends up touching hundreds of other minds.

I love that reading can transport you to new, exciting worlds. With a good book, it’s easy to imagine yourself right there in the story with the characters, and I feel that even if you have a bad day, reading can still cheer you up.

Reading takes me away without leaving the house and with a series it’s like being with old friends.

I love to read because I do not get to travel and with reading I can visit many places. I also like to feel like I’m part of the main character’s life while I’m reading.

There are so many things I love about reading but I think my favorite is the chance to relax and step into another world!

The one thing I love most about reading is that it relaxes me and takes me away from all my stress.  I can get into a book and forget everything else.

I love reading because your brain is engaged in solving puzzles from words to crimes.

I love to relax in a book. Meet new people and see their lives. I might even be able to solve a mystery.

I love reading because It’s so cozy!

One of the many things I love about reading is that I can sit down with a nice beverage, get comfortable, and lose myself in a place totally removed from my life and the troubles of the day.

Books can take me places I can never go on my own…make me cry, make me laugh, and scare me…they offered protection when I needed to shut out the rest of the world and helped me learn to deal with life doles out, whether it be good or bad.  And I guess you can say reading furthered my education…and then some.

I love to read & have been reading since I was 5 years old.  I love the chance to experience other worlds, other cultures, other times in history.

I think my main reasons why I love reading is it’s a great escape (better than TV) and I love learning…books are a great way to learn about other places, people, ways of life etc.

What I love about reading is I use it as an entertainment and escape.

What I love about reading is that I can be someone or somewhere else.  I learn something new from every book I read.

I love reading because you can go anywhere and be immersed in that tale!

Reading is the ultimate escape.

Why do you love reading?



Posted in Cozy Mystery, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for a Well-Timed Murder by Tracee de Hahn

This post was contributed by author Tracee de Hahn. Her cozy mystery, A Well-Timed Murder is currently on tour with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book

Ready for a trip to a foreign place? In A Well-Timed Murder, we journey to Switzerland, spending time at an idyllic boarding school and at a glamorous watch and jewelry expo in the city of Basel. Following in Inspector Agnes Lüthi’s footsteps, we also travel to the traditional heart of watchmaking country, La Chaux-de-Fonds, and visit the home and factory of a well-regarded watchmaking family.

Agnes Lüthi might have been born in Switzerland, but she shares an appreciation for the country’s traditional architecture with every armchair tourist, thinking more kindly of her in-laws because of their charming chalet. Who wouldn’t appreciate the dark-beamed ceilings and warm fires on a cold day, and the balconies lined with flower boxes that bloom all summer?

SWITZERLAND – MARCH 09: Swiss Federal Railways poster; ?Blick vom Kursaal? (View from the Kursaal) showing customers on a cafe verandah with mountains in the background. Artwork by E von Kager. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

A Well-Timed Murder was the perfect opportunity to showcase Switzerland. A little bit of tradition with a dash of modern thrown in. When renowned watchmaker Guy Chavanon dies he leaves behind a modern factory designed to look like it was built in the Renaissance, and an early 20th century house that reflected the “new” modern look of that period – complete with sleek terraces that resembled promenades on ocean liners. Typical Swiss appreciation for the old and the new.

A journey across Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a boarding school. I’ve visited my husband’s boarding school in Gruyère many times, soaking in the atmosphere with all the appreciation of an outsider. The school in A Well-Timed Murder was based on his, with a large chalet serving as administration building and dormitories for some of the students. Newer buildings are bracingly modern – smooth concrete, large plate glass widows and highly polished wood accents. I added a few touches to my school, including a poison garden based on the one found at Alnwick Castle in England. Mine is tucked away in the kitchen garden. Why a poison garden? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Boarding school is the perfect place to introduce characters from across the globe. French and English may be the official school languages but the accents range far and wide and many secret conversations take place in languages understood by only a few.

Basel’s watch and jewelry show, called Baselworld, serves as an introduction to Swiss industry: sleek, glamorous, and international. While the show lasts only one week of the year, during that time it is the most dazzling high end shopping street in the world. Take the best of Zürich, Paris, New York, or Tokyo and bring them together: that’s Baselworld. Need a new tiara? Choose from antique models or have one designed according to your specifications. Looking for a watch? You’ll have to be more precise. Do you need it to function down to the depths of the ocean and while flying to the moon? Or do you want to impress your friends with the number of precious stones on the watch face? Want a dial that is only visible when a hidden button is pressed and the enameled butterfly wings open? You will find all of these, and more, at the show.

During Agnes’s journey across Switzerland in A Well-Timed Murder you’ll see the diversity of the people, catch a glimpse of their customs – including food – and enjoy a ringside seat as Agnes hunts for a killer.

Enter the rafflecopter for A Well-Timed Murder’s blog tour:

Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, New Releases

Author Spotlight of Lena Gregory, author of Clairvoyant and Present Dancer: A Bay Island Psychic Mystery

I’m pleased to have author Lena Gregory, a fellow Long Islander, here again to speak about her writing and new release, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good BookI chatted with Lena previously about Scone Cold Killer.

Hi, Lena. Nice to have you here again. For those who may have missed your first appearance here and those who need a refresher, can you please tell us what titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?

My first cozy mystery, Death at First Sight released on November 1, 2016 with Berkley Publishing. I currently write the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series (Death at First Sight, Occult and Battery & Clairvoyant and Present Danger) with Berkley Publishing and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series (Scone Cold Killer, Murder Made to Order & Cold Brew Killing) with Lyrical Press.

Quite a big list. Tell us a little bit about those books and your new release.

My most recent book, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, Bay Island Psychic Mysteries book three, is due to release today, February 6, 2018 and follows the story of Cass Donovan and her small psychic shop on the boardwalk.

Scone Cold Killer, the first book in the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series, released on January 23, 2018 and is about Gia Morelli, a woman from New York City who flees her home to move to Boggy Creek, Florida and open a café. Unfortunately, trouble follows.

Congratulations on your new releases.

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 biggest goal is to keep writing cozies! I hope to continue the series’ I am currently writing as well as start two new series’, one paranormal and one contemporary. As a cozy reader, which do you prefer?

Commenting for myself, I like contemporaries but paranormals can be interesting, too. My Cobble Cove series is a contemporary cozy. I hope readers will share their preferences.

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

I think people who enjoy cozy mysteries would be most interested in my books, people who enjoy reading about small towns and trying to solve the mystery along with the sleuth. I also think people who enjoy psychics, ghosts, and a touch of the paranormal will enjoy my Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series.

Both sound very interesting.

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

I would say, “Never give up!” It’s definitely not an easy road, and there is plenty of rejection along the way, but achieving your dream is so worth it.

I agree completely and hope to have a large publisher myself one day.

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

I think figuring out what genre to write was my biggest hurdle. I originally wrote romance, and while I do enjoy some romance in my cozies, I’m definitely not a romance writer. It took me a little while to figure out what I’d be good at writing and enjoy. After romance, I tried fantasy and children’s books. I do have stories published in all of those genres, but it was tough. It wasn’t until I started writing cozies that I really found my niche.

I feel like cozies are my niche, too, although I have also written other genres.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

Unfortunately, not right now. I’d love to join some, but right now I just don’t have time. Between working during the day, freelance editing, taking care of the house, kids, dogs…I’m lucky I find time to write.

I hear you. I have a 13-year old daughter and a cat and work full-time as a librarian.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I love spending time with family. I’m a huge superhero fan, and I love watching superhero movies with my husband and kids. I also enjoy taking long walks with my dogs through the nearby nature preserve.

I love walking, too, although I don’t have a dog. I look forward to the spring when I can do more of it. I think it helps clear your head and inspires your writing.

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

I enjoy everything about being an author. I think the thing I enjoy most, though, is celebrating my releases with facebook parties. I love getting to know my readers and other authors and have made some great friends that way. My least favorite part is writing the first rough draft. I definitely struggle with that. My toughest challenge is finding the discipline to sit down and write every day.

Yes, reaching readers is a wonderful part of being an author, and finding time to write as well as market your book is definitely the hardest challenge in my opinion.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

I really enjoy the recurring characters. Each time I sit down to write, it’s like visiting with old friends.

I feel that way, too. I’d love to sit in the Cobble Cove library with Alicia or have tea and muffins at the inn with Dora and Mac or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with John. Cozy characters really grow on you whether you read or write about them.

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

This is from Clairvoyant and Present Danger. Bee LOVES Beast, just not when he’s covered in mud and poised to greet him, usually by jumping up on him:

Stephanie was probably still sleeping, but Bee might not have gone to bed yet. Since he worked on his designs all night, he usually didn’t go to bed until seven or eight. Definitely a better option than running into Tank and having to explain why she was so frazzled. She headed for Bee’s house.

He would not be happy to find her on his doorstep, covered in mud, at just past seven in the morning, but what else could she do? She hadn’t grabbed her bag or her cell phone in her hurry to flee the house . . . uh oh. She lifted her foot off the gas and slowed. What was she going to tell him? If he knew a . . . something had spooked her, he’d never agree to come over.

The drive over was not comfortable. The mud had started to dry and was tightening her skin, and the damp clothes were bringing a chill, but it was better than being alone at home. Of course, nothing was stopping the woman from materializing in the car. She started to look at the—hopefully empty—passenger seat, but thought better of it and kept her eyes firmly on the road until she reached Bee’s driveway and parked. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. Probably.

“Come on, Beast.” She hooked the leash to his collar, stepped out of the car, and started toward the door.

Before she even reached the porch, Bee had opened the door and was doubled over laughing, gasping for air.

“Not funny, mister.” She strode toward him.

He bit back the laughter—sort of—when his gaze landed on Beast. His eyes widened, sending his bushy brown eyebrows straight up beneath his bleached, blond bangs. “Oh, no. Stay right there, missy. Don’t you dare come any closer with that animal.”

She kept walking toward him without slowing her pace.

“Did you hear me, Cass? I’m not kidding. You are not coming up here with that dog until he’s had a bath.” He squinted and eyed Beast more closely. “What on earth happened to you two?”

Cass finally stopped. “I need you to come home with me.”

He lifted a brow, and a smirk played at the corner of his mouth. “That is so not happening, honey.”

Cass held the leash in the air, keeping a firm enough grip so that Beast couldn’t escape—unless he really wanted to.

Beast wagged furiously, spraying mud everywhere.

She cocked a hip and propped her free, mud-covered hand on it. “Either you come home with me, or I’ll let him go.”

Bee’s mouth fell open. He snapped it shut and narrowed his eyes, pinning her with a glare. “You wouldn’t dare.”

She loosened her hold, letting the leash slip just a little.

Beast crouched, practically vibrating with the need to escape, barely able to restrain himself.

Wonderful, and you must ask Beast if he would like to chat with my cat character Sneaky on his blog one day.

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

I enjoy getting to know my readers and can often be found on facebook if you’d like to say hello 😊

That’s great. I’m sure you’ll hear from them.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.



Facebook Page:




 Thank you so much for having me!

Always a pleasure, Lena, and I’m including your blog tour and rafflecopter giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release.

Tour page: