Sunday, December 5, 2021

Bear a Wee Grudge - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


BEAR A WEE GRUDGE by Meg Macy
The Fifth Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery

Despicable Teddy Hartman is back in Silver Hollow causing more problems for Sasha Silverman and her family. No longer making bears, Teddy now runs a pet shop, with his equally nasty wife. Accusing Sasha's mom, Silver Hollow's new mayor, of corruption and various misdeeds the situation comes to a head resulting in Maddie punching Teddy and the Hartman's dog biting Sasha! Things go from bad to worse when Sasha's father, Alex, finds Teddy dead, with an axe in his back. A detective who also seems to have a grudge against the Silvermans is quick to arrest Alex, who is known for his proficiency in axe throwing and had been practicing for the town's upcoming Highland Fling games. Will Sasha be able to prove her father's innocence and clear her family's name?

Corruption, abuse, and conflict, a lot of conflict, drive the fifth Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery. Teddy and Lucy's slurs and bold faced lies, not to mention other unscrupulous actions combined with Detective Hunter's bias ratcheded up the tension, making me both angry and nervous. The reason's for Hunter's antagonism towards the Silverman's was never fully explained and it will be interesting to see if the subject is explored in further books. Negative actions by others was never fully explained either, leaving me wondering if it was just shoddy behavior or something more.

BEAR A WEE GRUDGE proves once again that family sticks together. Through good times, and bad times the Silvermans are there for each other, supporting, helping, and caring. They aren't the only family members doing so either! I love the addition of Gavin and Bonnie MacRae and hope we get to see more of this couple. I only wish I could have some of Bonnie's chocolate dipped shortbread.

BEAR A WEE GRUDGE is an anxiety laced mystery with a sweet little surprise at the end. I wish I could actually visit Silver Hollow, take a tour of the factory, get myself a wee bear in a kilt, some mead, and more of Bonnie's chocolate covered shortbread.

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 Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery) by Meg Macy

About Bear A Wee Grudge

Bear a Wee Grudge (A Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Publisher: ‎ Kensington (November 30, 2021)
Paperback: ‎ 304 pages

Teddy bear shop manager Sasha Silverman must step fast to find a murderer before an upcoming Scottish festival . . .

It’s springtime in Silver Hollow, Michigan, and Sasha is looking forward to the village’s inaugural Highland Fling weekend. Plans are underway for a Kilted 5K, athletic competitions, dancing, live music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest. Meanwhile, Sasha’s staff is busy crafting custom teddy bears in kilts for the Silver Bear Shop’s vendor booth. But trouble’s brewing behind the scenes, as the obnoxious Teddy Hartman, former owner of a rival teddy bear company, sows seeds of discord about town, targeting Sasha’s family and their business.

Things go from plaid to worse when—just a week before the festival kicks-off—the disgruntled gossip is found murdered with an ax buried in his back. Sasha’s dad is arrested, since he’s a champion ax-thrower. But she doesn’t give a dram what it looks like—Sasha knows that despite the old business rivalry with Hartman, her father is innocent. So with a spot of help from her friends, Sasha must bag the real killer before her first Fling also becomes her last.

About Meg Macy

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter -- the setting of her "Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear" cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn't It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg's first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links: 

Website -- https://www.megmacy.com  

FB -- https://www.facebook.com/MegMacyAuthor  

Twitter -- https://twitter.com/megmims  

Goodreads -- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15751255.Meg_Macy  

Instagram -- https://www.instagram.com/meg_macy_author/  

BookBub -- https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meg-macy  

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play - Apple Books 

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Friday, December 3, 2021

A Murder Yule Regret - An Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Winnie Archer back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Winnie writes the Bread Shop Mystery series. A MURDER YULE REGRET is the seventh book in the series and was released earlier this week.

Kathy: In A MURDER YULE REGRET Ivy attends a Victorian costume party attended by a variety of Dicken's characters. There are so many wonderful versions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Do you have a favorite version?

WA: What a great question! I LOVE the Patrick Stewart version. Our family went to see Patrick Stewart perform A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Apparently, it was written to be performed solo. He narrated it, and acted the parts, but alone on stage. He was incredible!


Kathy: Ivy Culpepper is working to boost her fledgling photography business. Do you enjoy taking pictures at the holidays? What are some of your favorite subjects to photograph?

WA: I do love taking pictures. I went through a huge scrapbooking phase when my kids were little. With the advent of the cell phone camera, that all changed. My youngest son doesn’t have the same level of scrapbooks as my other kids, as a result.

We have an annual tamalada (tamale making party). I really enjoy capturing this party for posterity. It is all friends and family having such a great time. The event really captures the joy of the season for our family. It’s my favorite tradition.


Kathy: I'm sure Olaya had some special bakes coming up for the holidays. Do you have anything special that you make for the holidays?

WA: We’re fairly traditional, although I try to add new things now and then. I make the same caramel corn recipe I learned in 10th grade home ec. I make sausage bread, which is a family favorite (https://melissabourbon.com/sausage-bread/). We make dinner rolls, but don’t usually get more adventurous than that.


Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

WA: I was so excited to be able to write a holiday-themed story for this series! DEADLY PATTERNS, a Magical Dressmaking Mystery, is also a holiday story. In that book, there’s a strong Santa element. I knew I wanted to go in a different direction with this one.

Since I do love A CHRISTMAS CAROL, that was the first thing that came to mind and stuck. When thinking about a holiday party Olaya could cater, a celebrity party felt right. And Santa Sofia is fairly close to the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, so a starlet fit the bill. Those elements all came together perfectly!


Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Ivy?

WA: Of course! Book #8 releases late in 2022. There’s a nice moment at the end of A MURDER YULE REGRET that leads into part of the storyline for that book, BREAD OVER TROUBLED WATER. The trouble begins when a Yeast of Eden customer meets an unfortunate demise. And Ivy is invested in getting to the truth because some people think Olaya’s bread is to blame.


Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

WA: Definitely in between. I generally know who the victim is, a few possible scenarios as to who could have done it, and why, and the overall arc of the story.

It’s the in-between stuff that I can’t plot. So much comes to me as I write. I call it ‘brain writing’. The actual process triggers new ideas, and, dare I say, moments of brilliance?!

Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

WA: Marketing is a necessary evil! I formed Book Warriors with fellow mystery writer, Diane Kelly, on Facebook. It’s a group focused on mysteries. We have a monthly book club and, of course, when our books release, we feature them!

The other HUGE thing I’m doing is taking me away from actual writing just a little bit. I’m tapping into my teaching roots and have created WriterSpark Writing Academy. It could end up as a way to market my books, sort of indirectly, but the focus is on teaching creative writing courses The first course is up for pre-sale and officially launches on January 1, 2022. https://writersparkwritingacademy.simvoly.com/

The best part of marketing boils down to the connections I get to make with other writers, and writing events we get to do.


Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

WA: Yes! My Book Magic series has the next book in the series, MURDER THROUGH AN OPEN DOOR, releasing on Feb.1, 2022. I love this series, so I’m super excited about it! (https://bit.ly/MTAOpenDoor)

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Review

A MURDER YULE REGRET by Winnie Archer
The Seventh Bread Shop Mystery
 
Ivy Culpepper is surprised when bread maven Olaya accepts a last-minute request to provide Yeast of Eden breads for a holiday party. Hollywood star Eliza Fox, who recently moved to Santa Sofia, is hosting a Dickensian celebration and not only will Yeast of Eden be providing plenty of carbohydrates for the event, but Ivy will also be its official photographer. Even with gossips and guests only there for the free food and drink, the party seems to be a success, until a scream pierces the night. A body has gone over the edge of the cliffside home. Who had the temerity to push a man to his death in the middle of a Christmas party? Eliza seems to be a genuine and down to earth young woman, but is it just an act?  
 
Celebrity gossip, unscrupulous people, a hint of past abuse, and a desire to reinvent oneself are at the heart of the seventh Bread Shop Mystery. The writing is as crisp as a December evening in Santa Sophia and I enjoyed every word. Lush descriptions made me feel as if I was there. Serious subjects are raised and dealt with in a mature and respectful manner making the book, not only more realistic, but more pertinent, especially in today's world.

In addition to stimulating your mind with a well plotted mystery, A MURDER YULE REGRET will ignite your desire to attend a holiday party in order to indulge in scrumptious appetizers and holiday beverages. Descriptions of food may me long for some of Olaya's creations. I'll have some star bread, please, and though I'm not sure about the combination, I'll try Mrs. Bradford's Sparkling Peppermint Swirl!

A MURDER YULE REGRET is a festive holiday mystery pitting celebrity dreams against reality with unsavory characters quietly driving the action. Filled with bright and shining stars and mouthwatering carbs A MURDER YULE REGRET makes for a perfect holiday read.
 
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 A Murder Yule Regret (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer

About A Murder Yule Regret

A Murder Yule Regret (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series
Publisher: ‎ Kensington Cozies (November 30, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages

Freelance photographer and Yeast of Eden bakery assistant Ivy Culpepper has just scored the job of a lifetime shooting the Dickensian dress-up X-mas party thrown by It Girl film actress Eliza Fox . . . until an unwanted guest appears.

A holiday costume party in the sleepy coastal town of Santa Sofia could be just the boost Ivy needs for her fledgling photography business. At the party, Ivy enters a Victorian fantasy come to life, all courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Fox. Ivy gets to play shutterbug while hanging with Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchits, and more classic Dickens characters. But what begins as the best of times turns out to be the very worst for one of the party guests—a tabloid journalist with more enemies than Ebenezer himself.

When the man’s body is found sprawled across the jagged rocks below the house, the fingers begin pointing at Eliza. Meanwhile, Ivy gets roped into helping prove the starlet’s innocence. Her festive photos are now official evidence—and the Ghosts of Christmas Present could mean the party for Eliza is over, once and for all.ance photographer and Yeast of Eden bakery assistant Ivy Culpepper has just scored the job of a lifetime shooting the Dickensian dress-up X-mas party thrown by It Girl film actress Eliza Fox . . . until an unwanted guest appears.

A holiday costume party in the sleepy coastal town of Santa Sofia could be just the boost Ivy needs for her fledgling photography business. At the party, Ivy enters a Victorian fantasy come to life, all courtesy of the fabulous Ms. Fox. Ivy gets to play shutterbug while hanging with Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchits, and more classic Dickens characters. But what begins as the best of times turns out to be the very worst for one of the party guests—a tabloid journalist with more enemies than Ebenezer himself.

When the man’s body is found sprawled across the jagged rocks below the house, the fingers begin pointing at Eliza. Meanwhile, Ivy gets roped into helping prove the starlet’s innocence. Her festive photos are now official evidence—and the Ghosts of Christmas Present could mean the party for Eliza is over, once and for all.

 

About Winner Archer

Winnie Archer is the nationally bestselling author of the Bread Shop Mystery series, as well as the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series written as Melissa Bourbon. A former middle school English teacher, lives in North Carolina with her educator husband, Carlos, and the youngest of their five children. She can be found online at MelissaBourbon.com.

Author Links: 

Kensington: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496724410/dough-or-die/  

Website: https://melissabourbon.com/  

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

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - IndieBound

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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Slayed by Souvlaki - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Jenny Kales back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Jenny writes the Callie's Kitchen Mystery series. SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI is the fifth book in the series and was released in October.


Kathy: In SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI Callie Costas finally gets to travel to Greece. Have you ever been?

JK: Believe or not, I have not been there! It's somewhere I would like to go and my husband was there several times in his younger days; he even lived there for awhile, so he has been a great resource in my research. Visiting Greece was a natural trajectory for the characters in my series and I had planned to send them there for awhile. Given all that has happened in the world lately, I thought that readers would enjoy an exotic escape. I know I did! It was a lot of fun to research the Greek Islands, and I have been told I captured the experience of visiting Greece. I hope readers enjoy the journey!


Kathy: Callie gets to meet a slew of family members, invited by Callie's father to celebrate his recent marriage. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to travel to Poland to meet family members I've never met before. Have you ever had that opportunity? If you had it, would you take it?

JK: How wonderful that you got to do that! Callie gets to reconnect with some relatives in the new book, in particular her feisty and funny Aunt Glkyeria, aka Sweetie, who appeared in the second book in my series, SPICED AND ICED, a Christmas-themed cozy. If I had the opportunity to meet up with long-lost family members in another country, I think it would be very interesting and I would do it. In fact, it sounds like it could be a good basis for a story....


Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

JK: Yes, I was inspired by the islands of Milos and Paros, and the various characteristics of these Greek islands. I ended up creating a fictional island because I wanted creative license, but I definitely have some flavor of these specific places, such as parts of the landscape and even some of the tourist attractions.

Because Callie is of Greek descent, I always thought it would be fun to send her to Greece, especially because the atmosphere is so different than her hometown of Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. However, as she finds out in the story, there are many similarities to the small villages she visits and her small town life back home. You'll have to read the book to find out more!


Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Callie?

JK: I can share that there are both personal and professional changes coming for Callie. Her family and work life are being challenged in both good and bad ways. Big shakeups, shall we say. And of course, she is always sharpening her amateur sleuthing skills. That's all I can say for now!


Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?

JK: I feel that I fall in between. I always know the ending and who the killer is before starting a book. I write a complete but not overly detailed outline and I do know the plot before I begin. Along the way, characters may say and do things I didn't plan or expect, and I go with it if I feel it helps the story. Sometimes characters take you somewhere you didn't know you wanted to go, and that's exciting.

Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?

JK: My favorite part of marketing is connecting with readers and bloggers! It's rewarding to know that people are reading and enjoying your books and even trying the recipes from my series. I also really enjoy creating graphics for my posts on social media.

My least favorite part is that sometimes you don't quite know what will work, and there can be a lot of trial and error when you'd rather be writing. But in general, I enjoy the marketing aspect. I used to write marketing, ad copy, etc. so maybe that's why!

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 Slayed by Souvlaki (A Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery) by Jenny Kales

About Slayed by Souvlaki


Slayed by Souvlaki (A Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Independently published (October 30, 2021)
Paperback: ‎ 267 pages

Greek vacations can be murder! Recipes are included in this cozy mystery set in the Greek Islands.

Callie Costas can’t believe she is finally traveling to Greece with her significant other, Detective Ian Sands. However, this isn’t your average voyage: Callie’s father has invited a slew of colorful family members to his beautiful childhood village to celebrate his recent marriage. Callie is especially delighted to be reunited with her Greek “Aunt Sweetie” aka Glykeria.

The Costas family’s Greek getaway turns to Greek tragedy when murder turns up on the menu at the seaside restaurant of her father’s friend, Dimitrios. A restaurant employee has been killed and Dimitrios is a prime suspect.

With a hodge-podge group of tourists and villagers to round out the suspect list, can Callie help her father clear his friend’s name, before the killer skewers her?

About Jenny Kales

Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth, who lives in a scenic Wisconsin town with colorful characters -- and a high murder rate! Each book contains several delicious recipes, both Greek and American. Callie’s latest adventure, SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI is the 5th Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series and was released in October 2021.

Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to reading and British TV mysteries. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband and is the mom of two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. She's hard at work on additional writing projects including more Callie's Kitchen Mysteries and a new series releasing in 2022.

Author Links: 

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

Website: https://jennykales.wordpress.com/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenny_Kales  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennykales_author/

  • Purchase LinksAmazon
  • Also available on Kindle Unlimited

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer. This book is the seventh in the Bread Shop Mystery series and was released yesterday.

Ivy Culpepper is surprised when bread maven Olaya accepts a last-minute request to provide Yeast of Eden breads for a holiday party. Hollywood star Eliza Fox, who recently moved to Santa Sofia, is hosting a Dickensian celebration and not only will Yeast of Eden be providing plenty of carbs for the event, but Ivy will also be its official photographer. Even with gossips and guests only there for the free food and drink, the party seems to be a success, until a scream pierces the night. A body has gone over the edge of the cliffside home.  Who had the temerity to push a man to his death in the middle of a Christmas party? Eliza seems to be a genuine and down to earth young woman, but is it just an act?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Seer - A Review & Giveaway

 Review


THE SEER
By Eva Shaw 

Dr. Thomas Ling has a plan, he's going to deliver the package as requested, then disappear. In February 1942 anti-Asian sentiments are running high. Never mind that Thomas is Chinese and not Japanese, life could become very difficult for him. Beatrix Patterson is a seer and a finder of lost things. When Thomas decides to enter Beatrix's home to avoid the police he's concerned he's encountered a witch, and he's not a superstitious man. Beatrix saves him from the police...but just what is her intention? 

THE SEER had so many elements that piqued my interest, the fantastic location of New Orleans, a fascinating time period, that of World War II, and an apparent psychic. Despite the great possibilities the book never hit the mark. The plot is meandering and I never really discovered what the book's focus was supposed to be. 

Both Thomas and Beatrix had amazing back stories and fascinating characteristics, but the unlikely duo never gelled. Each appeared as two dimensional characters, despite their intriguing backgrounds. I didn't feel any chemistry between them. So many things seemed contrived and not genuine, as well as unrealistic.

I loved the historical details found in THE SEER. While I knew that the United States interned people of Japanese descent during WWII, I didn't know about Camp Algiers or how integral New Orleans was during the war, though, upon reflection it makes complete sense.

THE SEER sheds light on some relatively unknown, but very important, facts about WWII. It's an interesting story, but not as compelling as it could have been.

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For an opportunity to own a paperback copy of THE SEER, simply leave a comment on this blog post no later than 11:59pm Wednesday, December 1, 2021. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I may contact you should you be the winning comment. Sorry, US addresses only.

Monday, November 29, 2021

You Can't Candle the Truth - A Spotlight & Giveaway

 You Can't Candle the Truth (Glenmyre Whim Mysteries) by Sarah E. Burr

About You Can't Candle the Truth

You Can't Candle the Truth (Glenmyre Whim Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Independently Published (November 16, 2021)
Digital Number of Pages: 267 pages

Candlemaker Hazel Wickbury has a secret. She knows when someone is going to die.

Welcome to Crucible, a small town with a storied history. Founded by five prestigious families, Crucible has been tucked away in upstate New York for centuries under the protection of a shield enchantment cast by Jedidiah Glenmyre, Hazel's revered ancestor. The enchanted barrier is meant to protect Crucible from anything bad ever happening to the town. No crime, no awful weather, no natural disasters…a haven from the greater world.

Until the heir to a billion-dollar company is found dead in his home. With the help of her uncanny power, known as a "whim," Hazel realizes foul play is involved. But more than being concerned about a murderer running loose and Jedidiah Glenmyre's protection shield deteriorating, Hazel and her aunt Poppy are worried the town's kindhearted art teacher will be charged with the sinister crime.

Hazel and Poppy team up with an internationally acclaimed mystery author visiting Crucible to figure out who had it in for the victim. Their fledgling investigation has them questioning if long-time friends have turned into foes and whether blood is really thicker than water.

Determined to prove her friend innocent, Hazel is ready to shine a light on the real killer…if they don't snuff her out first.

About Sarah E. Burr

Sarah E. Burr lives near New York City. Hailing from the small town of Appleton, Maine, she has been dreaming of being Nancy Drew since she was a little girl. Since she wasn’t stumbling across any crime scenes in corporate America, Sarah left her career in healthcare technology to write mysteries of her own.

You Can’t Candle the Truth is Sarah’s first foray into the paranormal cozy genre, and there's even more murder and mystery in the works for Sarah. #FOLLOWME FOR MURDER, first in the TRENDING TOPIC MYSTERIES, shines the spotlight on a social media PR expert after she discovers a dead body in her clients' store, forcing her to untangle a web of secrets in her small, beachside town. This title is expected in February 2022 by Level Best Books. Sarah is also the author of the Court of Mystery series, where murder is always a royal affair for her heroine, Duchess Jacqueline.

Sarah attended Elmira College and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies. She loves to weave these themes into her writing. When she’s not spinning up new stories, Sarah is off seeing Broadway musicals, reading up a storm, video gaming, and enjoying walks with her dog, Eevee. She is represented by Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

Author Links: 

Webpage: https://www.saraheburr.com 

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsaraheburr/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahEBurr  

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sarah-e-burr  

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorsaraheburr  

YouTube: https://bit.ly/bookstabundlesbooktrailers 

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

Purchase Links: Amazon - GoodReads Link

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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Danger at Dunhaven Castle - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Nellie H. Steele to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Nellie writes the Cate Kensie Mystery series. Danger at Dunhaven Castle is the fourth book in the series and was released this past week.


Kathy: In Danger at Dunhaven Castle Cate Kensie begins to slip in and out of different time periods. If you had the chance, would you travel through time? If you could pick when and where you'd visit, where and when would you choose?

NHS: I think I would, as long as I could return to this time. I’m pretty sure I’d quickly tire of the lack of creature comforts we have become accustomed to in this century! I’ve got a laundry list of times and places I’d love to visit, so in no particular order: colonial America, Victorian England, 1920s, 1940s. I’m sure there are a lot of others, but those are my top picks.

Kathy: I've always wanted to live in a castle. In fact, when I was a kid I would check out this magazine from the library which had castle and manor homes for sale. If you had the chance, and the financial ability, would you live in a castle?

NHS: Absolutely. I can’t imagine how entertaining it would be to live in a castle. I’m certain I’d spend at least a decade exploring my own home like it was a museum! I’ve always been fascinated by castles and large manor homes!

Kathy: Cate is also busy researching the castle's history. Do you enjoy doing research? Is history a favorite subject for you?

NHS: I’ve always liked history. I considered a minor in it during college, but I had a dual major (in completely unrelated topics) so I couldn’t fit it in. But I picked up history classes when and where I could and I’m intrigued by what life was like in past eras and how different things are between now and then!

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

NHS: I love mysteries. I grew up reading Nancy Drew and graduated to Victoria Holt. I’m not too squeamish so I can read some of the more gritty mystery novels, but I truly love the easiness of cozy mysteries. They are light and fun with just enough intrigue to keep you interested. It’s a really nice blend of pleasant story with mysteries that won’t turn your stomach or make you lose sleep (unless, of course, you can’t stop reading!).

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

NHS: I do! I’m a literary split personality and love to write different types of mysteries. In addition to cozy mysteries, I also write supernatural suspense mysteries (magical realism, think Dark Shadows), adventure mysteries (like Indiana Jones), and historical mysteries!

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 

NHS: The Cate Kensie Mysteries series is my cozy mystery series following Cate Kensie as she discovers she is the heiress to a fortune and a Scottish castle. The series starts with Cate’s journey to Scotland and surprising discovery about what makes her castle unique. Cate will then use her new found time traveling ability to solve mysteries in the past.

Book 4 of the Cate Kensie series involves a few characters from my Shadow Slayers supernatural suspense series. This series follows a set of supernatural creatures and their human friends who work to prevent evil from seeping too far into the real world.

The Maggie Edwards Adventures series is a high-octane, globe-trotting thrill ride following Maggie Edwards as she solves archeological mysteries.

And last, but not least, my historical mystery series, Duchess of Blackmoore Mysteries, follows Lenora Fletcher as she solves mysteries using her unique ability: she can communicate with the dead.
 

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

NHS: Yikes, that’s hard! I enjoy most of my characters and picking a favorite is like picking your favorite child! Some I love to write, like Marcus Northcott, because he gets to say things no one else can. And Cate Kensie will always hold a special place in my heart since she was my first published character and is named after my grandmother.

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

NHS: Nothing beyond I wanted it to have a really cool castle in a beautiful setting and I didn’t want it to be your average “ghost” story.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

NHS: I wrote The Secret of Dunhaven Castle for my mom’s birthday. After she completed a scavenger hunt and solved a puzzle, she got the book to read. It was up to her if I moved forward to publish it. (She said yes!).

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

NHS: Since I’m an introvert, hosting a dinner party probably isn’t up my alley! But on the off-chance I decided to, I think I’d invite some of the fantastic authors I’ve encountered on my publishing journey (and there’d be a lot more than four!). I’ve met some wonderful people and made great friends on my journey and I’d love to celebrate the work we do together!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

NHS: I’ve got a few reads on my Kindle right now. I’m reading Murder in the Christmas Tree Lot, Jack of Spades, and Laird of Drumlychtoun.

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

NHS: I’m really passionate about animals. I’ve got a rescue home for abandoned and abused animals. Right now, I’ve got 14 pets in the house. They take a good amount of care since some of them have several issues, but I enjoy doing it and seeing the difference in them from the time we begin working with them until they really settle in.

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

NHS: Eggs, bread, cheese, chocolate.

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

NHS: Yep! Cate 5 will soon be underway! Book 4 in the Shadow Slayers series is working its way through the editing channels. And I’ve got a first draft of a new series starter written. Duchess of Blackmoore 2 is also about 1/3 of the way complete. Look for all these (and more!) coming in 2022!

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

NHS: There’s so many great things but my favorite is creating characters and worlds to slip into. I absolutely love to escape into my stories and I really hope readers do, too! 

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 Danger at Dunhaven Castle: A Cate Kensie Mystery by Nellie H. Steele

About Danger at Dunhaven Castle


Danger at Dunhaven Castle: A Cate Kensie Mystery
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series
Publisher: A Novel Idea Publishing, LLC
Number of Pages: ~400

Frightening nightmares. Aberrations in time. Who is haunting Cate’s nightmares?

Months after solving two mysteries involving her ancestors, time-traveling, castle-dwelling Countess, Lady Catherine Kensie, still suffers from haunting nightmares. Chased by a mysterious man, Cate ponders who could be haunting her dreams and disturbing her sleep. She’s also smack dab in the middle of a brand-new research project, having found journals belonging to the Scottish castle’s original owner.

As Cate digs into the castle’s history, not only do her nightmares become more frequent and more frightening, but Cate also begins to experience strange phenomena with the time portals enclosed in the castle walls. Controlled by the mysterious heirloom timepiece she received as part of her inheritance, Cate is shocked when she begins to slip in and out of other time periods despite not activating the mechanism that controls them!

Can Cate learn the secret to control the time portals and discover who haunts her dreams before she finds herself lost in time?

 

About Nellie H. Steele

 

An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s Tomb, Nellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.

An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies! A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.

She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.

Check out all Nellie offers at www.anovelideapublishing.com/novels or at her blog, Nellie’s Book Nook, available at www.nelliesbooknook.com!  

Author Links

Publisher Website: www.anovelideapublishing.com  

Blog: www.nelliesbooknook.com  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nelliehsteele  

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nelliehsteele 

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/nelliehsteele1  

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nelliehsteeleauthor  

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19769743.Nellie_H_Steele  

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nellie-h-steele  

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nellie-H.-Steele/e/B07Z9PD3YN  

Purchase Link: Amazon

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