Friday, February 12, 2016

Burning Interview and Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome David Burnsworth to Cozy Up With Kathy today. David pens the Brack Pelton Mystery series. BURNING HEAT is the second book in the series and was released January 20th.


Kathy: Setting plays such an important role in a mystery. Why is Charleston, South Carolina the perfect location for your book?

DB: Out of all the places I have had the opportunity to live, it by far has the most personality. I lived on Sullivan’s Island and worked in North Charleston. Coming home from work and crossing the bridge onto the island was like entering paradise every day. I had a view of the intra-coastal waterway and the ocean was fifty yards from my apartment. Pelicans flew over my home and dolphins fed in the harbor right in front of the semi-private beach where I spent my weekends. Because of all that, there could be no other setting for my first two books, SOUTHERN HEAT and BURNING HEAT.


Kathy: Is the Pirate’s Cove based on a real bar?

DB: When I lived in Charleston, I spent a lot of time in many of the beach and downtown watering holes. It is a conglomeration of many blurry images. What I wanted to portray in the books was the atmosphere of the good times I had.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

DB: I like that they typically have clean language. I refrain from using certain words in my books because I don’t like to use them in real life, either. Also, I prefer to leave the gratuitous sex scenes to other genres.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

DB: My Brack Pelton series follows Brack, an Afghanistan war veteran and amateur sleuth, through the many facets and class levels of Charleston, South Carolina. He first solves his uncle’s murder case, and then tracks down the killer of a young prostitute.


Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

DB: I enjoy writing Brack the most. In a lot of ways, he is like me or like someone I wish I were. He’s taller and certainly more coordinated than I am in the physical sense. And he’s able to handle situations that would certainly not end well if I were the one facing them.


Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

DB: The time I lived in Charleston for sure.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

DB: I had a lot of support along the way. My wife is a big fan. Without her, I would never have taken the steps toward being an author, much less have two books in print. And then there is the South Carolina Writers Workshop. It was that organization that helped me polish my writing craft enough for it to be considered for publication.


Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

DB: Ulysses S. Grant, Mickey Spillane, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ian Fleming.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

DB: THE PROMISE, by Robert Crais. I really enjoy Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. This book also has the characters from his new K9 unit series, Scott and Maggie the dog.


Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

DB: I like automobiles, music, and U.S. History. Probably in that order.


Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry?

DB: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cereal, yogurt, various dried fruit, and cookies.


Kathy: Do you have plans for future books in your current series or a new series?

DB: I have finished the manuscript for the third book in the Brack Pelton series and have begun a new P.I. series also set in the Charleston, South Carolina area.


Kathy: What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

DB: Having the story come together. You didn’t ask, but the second favorite is being able to talk with readers.


Kathy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

DB: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to have your followers meet me in the virtual sense and I enjoy hearing from readers. God Bless!

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Author Links:
Webpage  – www.davidburnsworthbooks.com,
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BurnsworthDavid,
GoodReads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7229192.David_Burnsworth    
Twitter
– https://twitter.com/DavidBurnsworth

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Disguise to Die For - Review & Giveaway

Review 


A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere
The First Costume Shop Mystery

Margo Tamblyn, upon hearing of her dad's recent heart attack, has returned home to Proper, Nevada to take care of her father and the family costume shop while he recovers. She'll have some help from Ebony, who's been a mom to her, and Kirby, the high school store employee, but will that be enough? Dealing with her grumpy dad is one thing, but dealing with the town's spoiled rich kid is another. Blitz Manners (really a spoiled adult) comes to the store flashing money and unreasonable time frames for a themed birthday party. When said rich kid is found dead at his own party with Ebony standing over his body with a knife, Margo gets thrust into the investigation. Margo will do whatever it takes to prove Ebony's innocence. Can she trust the mysterious Tak Hoshiyama? Will she be able to tie things up and get back to her job is Las Vegas?

A Disguise to Die For is filled with some of the most unique characters in cozies today. Margo dresses in costumes. Not for special occasions, every day. Ebony generally wears clothing from the 1970s. Margo's dad is probably the most main stream character, and he heads out with a buddie to scope out alien costumes from a man in Area 51! These not so average characters bring vibrancy and life to this new series. Despite the quirkiness, perhaps, in part because of it, the characters are very real. They've faced some difficult challenges and vow to view the world in their own way.

A Disguise to Die For is a book about disguise, not just what the victim and killer were wearing, or indeed the costume shop itself. But just about every character is wearing a mask, if not a straight up costume. The trick is finding the real person behind the facade.

Diane Vallere has created a wonderful new world inhabited by quirky characters with substance. There is meaning in her mystery; a fun facade covers some series subjects and I can't wait to uncover more layers.

Recipes and Costume Tips included.

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For a chance to have your own copy of A Disguise to Die For, simply leave a comment on this blog post tell us your favorite costume. Be sure to include your e-mail address and post the comment no later than 11:50pm EST Friday, February 12, 2016. Make sure you enter the Rafflecopter as well!


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs. This book is the 17th book in the Tea Shop Mystery series and will be released March 1st.

Devonshire Scream starts off with a bang as a genteel event turns into a deadly robbery! Although local police, including Detective Tidwell, are investigating the FBI have also been called in. The belief is that an international jewel theft ring may be involved and they may be sticking around. Theodosia and the gang at the Indigo Tea Shop find themselves in the midst of the investigation once again. Not only was Theo a witness to the robbery, but the Heritage Society is about to have a rare antiquities show and the pièce de résistance is a genuine Fabergé Egg! Was the crime at Heart's Desire Fine Jewelry just a practice run for the main event? Will the criminals strike again?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Meet Lady Alice - An Interview and Giveaway

I'm very pleased to welcome Lady Alice to Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can read about Lady Alice in the short story "Alice in Renaissance Were-land" which can be found in Gone by Midnight, a short story collection by Joyce and Jim Lavene.



Kathy: Lady Alice, where did you learn your formidable blade wielding skills?

LA: I was Daisy Reynold’s best apprentice. She is the Master Armorer at Swords and Such.


Kathy: What type of opponent is your favorite to fight? Why?

LA: I love to fight demons. They have such a witty repast as their fighting. It makes the fight so much more interesting.


Kathy: Are zombies your least favorite foe? Is there another kind you dislike to fight?

LA: Zombies are the worst. They do nothing but hack and slash mindlessly. At least when you fight orcs or ogres they drool a bit.


Kathy: What's your favorite thing about the Renaissance Village?

LA: It has to be the camaraderie that everyone shows each other. And then there’s the prince, sigh.


Kathy: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

LA: I usually take in a play or listen to the minstrels playing when I’m not practicing my martial arts.


Kathy: Do you have a favorite food?

LA: That would have to be a rare steak with lots of potatoes to go with.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Made the Beads - Guest Post & Giveaway

High Strung, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, will be 99 cents from Feb 7th through 11th and $1.99 from Feb 12th through 15th.  Be Still My Beading Heart, A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery short story is free on Amazon and iTunes. A Bead in the Hand is available for the discounted price of $2.99 through February 15th.


I Made the Beads
By Janice Peacock

Oftentimes when I’m wearing jewelry that I’ve made, I’ll get a compliment about it. Sometimes I simply thank the person, but if I’m ready to have a conversation about my personal adornment, I’ll say something like, “Oh, these beads? I made them.” Which usually leads to a myriad of questions like, “How do you make glass beads?”

That was a question I asked myself nearly twenty-four years ago. I made a charm bracelet with beads I’d bought at a local shop, but I was disappointed in what I had to choose from. As I looked at the beads dangling from the chain around my wrist, I wondered who made them—and how.

This was 1992, and those of us of a certain age remember that there was a time where there was no internet, no Google, and certainly no Facebook page about beads. I was left with a telephone and a lot of perseverance to complete my research. The first person I called said I needed a glass furnace that runs 24/7, holds several pounds of glass, and costs thousands of dollars a month to run. That was not an option for me. The next person I found said he could teach me how to fuse glass in a kiln—sort of high-temperature cooking-baking, only with glass. This would have made a lot of flat things, plates and tiles and such, which was not what I wanted to make.

Finally, after many phone calls, I found a studio in Oakland, CA, just a few miles from my house. The studio owner was bringing in a guest instructor from Washington state. He was going to teach a class on how to make beads using a torch to melt glass. When I showed up at class, I had no idea was to expect. I watched, mesmerized, as the teacher melted a brightly colored rod of glass with his 2,000 degree torch. While the glass was molten he wrapped it around a thin metal wire and sculpted it. When the glass was cool, he removed the metal wire and a hole remained—a bead!

This was what I wanted to do.

As soon as I sat down at a torch to try it for myself, as soon as I melted my first piece of glass, I knew there was no turning back. I was hooked. I made a dozen beads that weekend, all lumpy, and all my own personal works of glass art.

On went on to buy a torch of my own, and over the years I have made many beads and created one-of-a-kind jewelry. There have been times when I’ve done other things creatively: knitted, worked in clay, and made quilts. Most recently, I wrote a couple of books (with more to come) about a glass beadmaker who solves murders in between firing up her torch to melt some glass. (You can learn more about the books in the Glass Bead Mystery Series at www.janicepeacock.com.)

But I always return to glass because it is my passion. And that’s why, when the moment is right, and a random stranger asks me about the colorful necklace I’m wearing I’ll often say:

Thanks, I made the beads.

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For a chance to win a two e-book set, leave a comment on this blog post telling us if you've ever done any beadwork, or made something out of glass. Leave your comment, being sure to include your e-mail address, no later than 11:59 pm EST Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter as well!


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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Currently Reading...

I actually just finished reading one book and haven't yet started the next, so...I just finished reading A Disguise to Die For by Diane Vallere. This book is the first in the new Costume Shop Mystery series and was just released yesterday!

Margo Tamblyn, upon hearing of her dad's recent heart attack, has returned home to Proper, Nevada to take care of her father and the family costume shop while he recovers. She'll have some help from Ebony, who's been a mom to Margo, and Kirby, the high school store employee, but will that be enough? Dealing with her grumpy dad is one thing, but dealing with the town's spoiled rich kid is another. Blitz Manners (really a spoiled adult) comes to the store flashing money and unreasonable time frames for a themed birthday party. When said rich kid is found dead at his own party with Ebony standing over his body with a knife, Margo gets thrust into the investigation. Margo will do whatever it takes to prove Ebony's innocence. Can she trust the mysterious Tak Hoshiyama? Will she be able to tie things up and get back to her job is Las Vegas?

Recipes and Costume Tips included.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Spotlight - Dearly Departed


Dearly Departed by Hy Conrad

DEARLY DEPARTED is a truly cool cozy, truly delightful: engrossing, at times dangerous, at times light-hearted, variably romantic, humorous, wraparound comfy... ~Mallory Heart's Cozies
DEARLY DEPARTED Dearly Departed (An Amy's Travel Mystery) 2nd in Series Cozy Mystery Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2016) Hardcover: 352 pages ISBN-13: 978-1617736827 E-Book ASIN: B00X2EOZPW goodreads-badge-add-plus

Synopsis

Fanny and Amy Abel, the dynamic mother-and-daughter owners of a NYC travel agency, have just booked their biggest trip yet. But with danger in the air, the itinerary may include murder...
Paisley MacGregor, a maid to the rich, made a dying request to send all of her wealthy employers on a first-class wake to spread her ashes around the world. Amy has her suspicions about these "mourners," especially when one has a life-threatening "accident" at the first stop in Paris. And when a mysterious American stranger tagging along with the group has his ticket punched in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, Amy knows she may have a killer on her tour. Who was this stranger, and what's the connection to someone in her group? Digging for clues while continuing on with the trip is a lot for Amy to manage, especially when another mourner has a possibly fatal encounter with a Hawaiian volcano. Back in the States, Fanny and Amy start to piece together a secret worth killing for, but someone is hot on their trail, and ready to send them on a one-way trip--to the morgue! hy conrad

About The Author

Hy Conrad was the co-executive producer of the hit television series Monk. Monk received three Edgar nominations from the Mystery Writers of America for "Best TV Series." The author of hundreds of short stories and ten books of short whodunits which have been sold around the world in fourteen languages, he's also the author of the novels, Mr. Monk Helps Himself and Mr. Monk Gets On Board. Hy splits his time between Key West, Vermont, and New York City. Readers can visit his website at hyconrad.com.
  Author Links: Webpage - http://www.hyconrad.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HyConrad/?fref=ts Blog - http://www.hyconrad.com/blog/ GoodReads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25488908-dearly-departed Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Indie Bound

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