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!
Danger at Dunhaven Castle: A Cate Kensie Mystery by Nellie H. Steele
About Danger at Dunhaven Castle
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.
Publisher Website: www.anovelideapublishing.com
Purchase Link: Amazon