Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Feliz Navidead Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Ann Myers to the blog today. Ann pens the Santa Fe Café Mystery series. Feliz Navidead is the third book in the series.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
AM: I knew I wanted to set a book in Santa Fe. My husband and I visit there a lot for his work, and I love the history, culture, architecture, and, of course, food. But what really sparked the series was pan de muerto, the namesake of Bread of the Dead. What a great name for bread! And perfect for a culinary mystery. I put a Day of the Dead bread-baking contest in the background, and a heroine popped to mind: a woman a little younger than me (at the time) but a lot braver, both to work in food service and to solve crimes.

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

AM: I have a soft spot for Flori. She’s not exactly a sidekick. Octogenarian instigator is probably a better description. Flori owns Tres Amigas Café, where my protagonist, Rita, works as a chef. Flori teaches Rita about New Mexican cuisine and spices up the story with hobbies such as deadly tai chi and rogue knitting. Flori is also a renowned amateur sleuth, a bold flirt, and a pincher of handsome men’s behinds. One of these things was inspired by my grandmother, but I won’t reveal which.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

AM: I finally finished a novel! I’d started several manuscripts over the years, but they petered out. Then I finally finished one and merrily sent out queries, calling the book a cozy. I got bites. And rejections. Lots of rejections, including the most inspiring and devastating, a long list detailing all the ways the book was not cozy or sellable. I ditched the non-cozy and set out to write another—hopefully better and truly cozy—mystery. That became Bread of the Dead.

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

AM: I know it’s good to mix up your dinner guests, but I’m going to choose all mystery icons.

· Agatha Christie. Of course!

· Ann Cleeves. I adore her Shetland series and would be secretly hoping for an invitation to the islands.

· Diane Mott Davidson, who first got me hooked on culinary cozies.

· Tony Hillerman, the master of Southwest mysteries.

Now what would I serve?

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

AM: I realized I hadn’t read some of the early books in Martha Grime’s Richard Jury series. I’m reading book one, The Man with a Load of Mischief. It’s wonderful to see characters I know from later books appearing for the first time.

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

AM: I’m a crafts dabbler. I guess I haven’t found “The One” craft yet, but it’s been fun trying. I’ve dabbled in pottery (my household has many heavy ceramic items), screen printing and block printing (lots of fun), cyanotypes (magic), sewing (mostly disastrous), knitting (a total failure), embroidery (better), paper-cutting (I could be okay at this), metalsmithing jewelry (I have a torch phobia that hinders production), and am currently blacksmithing. Make that trying to blacksmith. It’s a lot harder than it looks.

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

AM: 1. Cheese!

2. Miso. I don’t cook with miso a lot, but it lasts forever. I somehow have three containers.

3. Flour. I get panicky if baking supplies run low.

4. Frozen green chiles. Freshly roasted chiles are too tempting. I’ll buy a bunch in the fall, stash them in the freezer, and then forget how many I have until next season.

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

AM: I’d love to write more Santa Fe Café Mysteries and have ideas for plots. While waiting to hear how the first three books do, I’m working on a mystery/thriller set in a fictional Colorado town. The heroine is inspired by a friend, a social worker who helps kids. Crimes are already underway…a missing foster child, a murdered social worker, and soon another killing.

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

AM: When readers say they love a character. That’s truly heartwarming and means characters I love managed to escape my head and come to life.


Feliz Navidead, Ann Myers (release date: Oct. 25, 2016)

Holly, jolly, and downright deadly—the third Santa Fe Café mystery unwraps surprises both naughty and nice…

It’s the most picturesque time of the year in Santa Fe, and Chef Rita Lafitte of Tres Amigas Café hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting mom. Rita is also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play. What she doesn’t plan for is murder.

Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance but vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would upset her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.

Ann Myers writes the Santa Fe Café Mysteries. The first book in the series, Bread of the Dead (2015), introduced café chef and reluctant amateur sleuth, Rita Lafitte. Rita and her friends stir up more trouble in Cinco de Mayhem (March 2016) and Feliz Navidead (October 25, 2016). Ann lives with her husband and extra-large house cat in southern Colorado, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, and cozy mysteries.

Contact Info:
You can find Ann online on Facebook at and her website
The Santa Fe Café Mysteries are available through
Or your favorite local bookstore or library.

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  1. Great interview! I find it so interesting as to where the inspiration comes from for a book.

  2. I'm glad you didn't give up after all those rejections. It was a learning exp. Also couldn't figure out how to sign up to your blog- it said you didn't have a newsletter. Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. Thanks, Sally! I'm going to work on adding a subscribe or follow feature to my blog and hope to get a newsletter started next year. Where did 2016 go?! Happy holidays!

  3. Great interview! Sounds really good! New author, new series. Aways so exciting. Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Great set of books, just finished the latest one (Feliz) and it may be the best yet! Georgina E.

  5. What a fun interview! I love the Santa Fe Cafe mystery books, and hope that Ms. Myers writes more. I simply MUST know if Rita and Jake tie the knot!

  6. Would love to read. Book sounds like an intriguing read. It would be interesting to see how Christmas is celebrated in Santa Fe.

    1. Thanks, Dianne! Christmas is a particularly special and pretty time of year in Santa Fe.

  7. I enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading books set in Santa Fe~

  8. I'm a big fan of Ann Myers and loved this interview. Such thoughtful questions, and such intriguing answers. Does her grandmother pinch handsome men's behinds, or is she an amateur sleuth like Flori? I'll have to keep reading her novels to see if she drops any more hints. Cozy indeed! Thanks, Kathy and Ann!

    1. Ha! Thanks, Carol! I better not reveal, but Flori is my favorite character and does like to flirt... :)

  9. I like the concepts for both your series! New Mexican cuisine, yum :-) Santa Fe is a favorite destination, as is Colorado. All the best!! --kate, writing as C. T. Collier

    1. Thanks, Kate! Yes, I'll be starting my new year's diet (ha!) after we get back from Christmas in Santa Fe. Happy holidays!