Welcome to Crystal Haven, the setting of Pall in the Family, the first book in the new series by Dawn Eastman.
DE: A relative lived in Lilydale for several years and I spent time there with her in my early twenties. I was struck by how psychic ability was treated as normal and just part of everyday life. Years later, I thought it would be fun to create a town where being psychic was considered just as valid as any other way of obtaining information.
Kathy: When it comes to psychics and mediums do you consider yourself a skeptic, a believer, or a skeptical believer?
DE: Probably a skeptical believer - I've had a few thought-provoking encounters with psychics so I keep an open mind.
Kathy: Two of my favorite characters are Baxter and Tuffy. Are either of them based on any animal friends you know?
DE: There was always a dog in my house growing up (usually more than one) so I have a lot of experience with dogs. Baxter and Tuffy are compilations of dogs I have known. I do own a bossy Shih Tzu-Bichon mix, but he's much friendlier than Tuffy.
Baxter has his own fan club, a good friend of mine has elected herself president. I don't know what they do at their meetings...
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
DE: Agatha Christie. When I was a teenager I discovered a box of them that had belonged to my grandmother - I've been hooked ever since.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
DE: I have a couple of other projects on the back burner. One is historical fiction, the other is speculative fiction. But this series is keeping me busy right now.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
DE: The Family Fortune Mystery series takes place in the western part of Michigan in a fictional town called Crystal Haven. It is a tourist town catering to those seeking psychic or new-age answers. Clyde Fortune is an ex-cop who returns home and keeps getting mixed up in murder investigations while trying to keep her whacky friends and relatives in line.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
DE: Violet has become my favorite, mostly because she's always doing something I don't expect. Plus, she writes my blog for me, which I appreciate.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
DE: I was brainstorming some ides for a series that would be fun to write and Clyde, Vi and Rose wandered in, bickering. When I realized Rose and Vi were nagging her to use her psychic abilities, I remembered my time in Lilydale, gave them their own town and waited to see what would happen.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
DE: I have an amazing writer's group. We've been together about 6 years and almost all of us are published. Watching the others get their first contracts and see their stories in print inspired me to give it a try as well.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
DE: Yeats, Salinger, Twain, Rowling
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
DE: Cuckoo's Calling
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
DE: I love to knit and read.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
DE: Tea, almonds, chocolate, and more tea
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
DE: Book 2 will be released in June 2014. It takes place in the autumn and delves more into Clyde's friend Diana's life and family. Plus Clyde learns some secrets about her own past and her own family. Book 3 is due out in April 2015. It takes place in a converted castle and involves enthusiastic knitters, a huge snow storm, and ghosts.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
DE: I love the idea of sharing this kooky group with others and the thought of making people laugh.
Pall in the Family By Dawn Eastman
The 1st Family Fortune Mystery
Sometimes when facing a crisis in life it’s good to be able to leave town and sort through things in your childhood home. That’s what Clyde Fortune does in Pall in the Family, the first Family Fortune Mystery by Dawn Eastman. Unfortunately, instead of quiet contemplation, she finds murder!
Temporarily trading her career as a police officer in Ann Arbor for a job as a dog walker in the Spiritualist Community of Crystal Haven, Michigan Clyde is once again living with her parents and Aunt Vi. Clyde’s mother, Rose, (who reads tarot cards) as well as her Aunt Vi (who’s a pet psychic) believe that Clyde is back to embrace the family gift. Clyde, however, is not so acceptive. When Clyde and her nephew Seth, who is also visiting for the summer, go to pick up Tuffy for his walk they find a cowering dog and the dead body of his owner.
I enjoyed my first visit to Crystal Haven. Having visited the Lily Dale Assembly in Lilydale, New York I was immediately drawn to a cozy series set in a Spiritualist community.
Dawn Eastman gives us characters that are relatable, Clyde and Seth in particular, as well as those able to bring some wacky fun, like Aunt Vi. I admit at times to not liking Aunt Vi very much. That in itself is a sign of quality writing; when you’re involved enough to NOT like them, for them to get under your skin, annoy you, and make you mad. I also admit my love, not for Mack, who is a good romantic lead, but for Baxter, all 130 pounds of drooling bullmastiff!
Pick up a copy of Pall in the Family and check out Crystal Haven yourself!
Pall in the Family * * * *
The Fortune Family Mysteries Too early to rate
My rating system:
To me a 5 star book is an amazing read
that swept me away and left me changed. A 4 star review is a great book
that I really loved. 3 stars is still a solid good read, positive and
enjoyable. Reviews will cease to be that positive at the 2 star
rating-an OK book with serious flaws. And a 1 star-don't bother.