Friday, October 13, 2017

A House Flipping Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Rachael Stapleton to Cozy Up With Kathy. Rachael writes the Haunted House Flippers Inc. Mystery series. Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt is the first book in the series and was released last month.

Kathy: Jack and Juniper are house flippers. Do you watch any of the house flipping shows on tv? Have you ever considered doing that?

RS: Are you kidding? My husband and I have had the house flipping conversation more times than I can count. We are addicted to ‘house porn’ as the industry dubs it. My personal faves are: Love it or List it Vancouver, Masters of Flip and of course, Joanna and Chip Gaines. My husband is also super into Rehab Addict where Nicole Curtis saves historic houses, one broken-down fireplace at a time. I like the concept because I love old houses but the pacing is way too slow for me. Of course the reality of flipping houses for profit isn’t quite as simple as ‘reality TV’ would have us think and my husband and I both know that. We’ve renovated enough of our own houses to see how time consuming it is. I wouldn’t say we’ve ruled it out though, my hubby is a certified energy auditor and home inspector with Americspec, my brother-in-law is a realtor and my dad’s a plumber, so maybe one day.

Kathy: In Cookies, Corpses, and the Deadly Haunt Jack and Juniper purchase a Victorian home to flip. I love Victorians (although I'd want more closet space than an original would offer). What's your favorite style of house?

RS: You are speaking my language. We love Victorian homes, so much so, that we bought one two years ago—a Second Empire with a mansard roof. Jack & Juniper’s house is actually modeled on my own. Oh, and I love closets too, but there are ways around that. For example, I own two beautiful wardrobes and my hubby just knocked down the wall and made me a dressing room in one of the smaller bedrooms. It even has an interior balcony. Currently, we’re renovating the library. The house had some water damage in the addition, so we re-did the roof, and stripped the back two rooms down to the bones. First, we put in a new kitchen with exposed brick and now we’re doing the library/writing room.

Kathy: This first book in the Haunted House Flippers Inc. Mystery series takes place around Halloween. Are you a fan of the holiday?

RS: Crisp air, the smell of hot apple cider, pumpkin spice, leaves falling, and cozy sweaters! Autumn is my favorite season and Halloween kicks off all of the fun. Leading up to it, we watch tons of scary movies; my personal fave is Sleepy Hallow. Usually the weekend before, we decorate the house with skulls and gravestones, then on Halloween I paint everyone’s face—even Dusty and I get dressed up to scare the neighborhood. How could we not when we live in the perfect haunted house. Later on, we like to get cozy in our jammies to watch Hocus Pocus and eat chocolate. There’s nothing better than red wine and chocolate. Occasionally, we go to a Halloween party but I’m more of an introvert.

Kathy: This post went live on Friday the 13th. Do you enjoy or dread the 13th when it falls on a Friday?

RS: Happy Friday the 13th. I love it! I’m definitely gonna watch scary movies tonight. This summer we stayed at a cottage on Crystal Lake with my sister’s family. I had so much fun spooking the kids on the drive up there (it was just me and the kids for the ride), my hubby came up later. I kept threatening to pull over on the side of the road for a break; my eleven year old son was flipping out. LOL.

Kathy: Juniper sees a ghostly specter in this book. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly encounter?

RS: Yes, and yes. I love to believe in the magical, as well as the mysterious, so I try not to overthink anything.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

RS: As a reader, or a write? I would have to say it was the combination of puzzle solving and humor. Cozies offer a nice contrast to the seriousness of murder and offer readers the interactive process of solving the mystery with the sleuth. As a writer it’s nice because the characters aren’t weighed down with addictions, and the setting is usually a small town so the suspects all know each other. This makes the puzzle easier to set up.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

RS: Yes, I write a time travel series called the Time Traveling Bibliophile. There is a whole lot more research that goes into those books. My series is about a librarian, and each of the four book take her to a new time and place.

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 

RS: Haunted House Flippers is a cross-over series from Penning Trouble. All of the characters from these books live in Bohemian Lake. Bohemian Murder Manor will be yet another cross-over series. So, while they focus on different characters and aspects of the town, you will see and hear form familiar faces across all three sets.

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

RS: Hands down, my favorite character is Eve Berns, the town spitfire. She is a no-nonsense-wannabee-detective and I just love her. She works her way into every book I write.

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

RS: Diana Gabaldon, Jackie Collins, Heather Graham and Jana DeLeon.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

RS: Time Riders by Alex Scarrow. I’m obsessed with all of the new time travel shows on Netflix so my binging has led me to search for books of the same concept and I found this one.

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

RS: I compete in fitness competitions usually twice a year.

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

RS: You mean in addition to kid snacks. Let me see, I always have egg whites, chicken, protein bars, and red wine on hand. I’m very habitual.

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

RS: Yes, Murder She Slopes which is the second book in the Penning Trouble Series releases the end of November. Also, I am currently working on a new series called Bohemian Murder Manor. It will release in 2018. I think I’ll go back to time travel for a bit after that or I may put out another Haunted House Flippers. I never know what my characters have planned for me.

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

RS: The freedom to work and write anywhere, and take inspiration from everything.

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