Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 - A Year of Reviews in Review

As 2018 draws to a close I thought I'd take a look back at some of the great books I was privileged to read.


By the time the year ends I will have read at least 91 books. The most books I've read in a year, primarily due to me overextending myself...and also because so many interesting books are being published!

I was introduced to a lot of new series this year. I think my favorite is one that cannot fully be categorized. It's a historical, a paranormal, and a comedy all rolled up in a traditional mystery: the Barnabas Tew Mystery series by Columbine Noonan. I actually read the first two in the series this year. Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab and Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds are a delightful romp through mythology and great mysteries.

It should come as no surprise that I am partial to historical mysteries as well as paranormal ones.  MURDER ON MILLIONAIRES' ROW by Erin Lindsey also fits both of those categories. 

Vampires are quite popular and I was delighted to discover a Vampire Mystery series. THE VAMPIRE KNITTING CLUB is the first in this series by Nancy Warren. Other top paranormal entries this year include A MAGICAL MATCH by Juliet Blackwell, CLAIRVOYANT AND PRESENT DANGER by Lena Gregory, and the new Magic Garden Mystery series by Amanda Flower which starts with FLOWERS AND FOUL PLAY.

I also love Gothics and THE BOOK OF THE BELOVED by Carolyn Haines fits that bill.

A historical series that really stood out for me is the Art Deco series by L. A. Chandlar. This series really should be read in order so start with THE SILVER GUN and continue with THE GOLD PAWN. Other historical mysteries that stood out this year include DEADLY FASHION by Kate Parker, MURDER, SHE REPORTED by Peg Cochran, and TURNING THE TIDE by Edith Maxwell. I also adore series that combines the present with the past. PAST AND PRESENT by Judy Sheluk is the second Marketville Mystery and I read all three of the Dr. Pimms Intermillennial Sleuth Mystery series by L.J. M Owen this year: OLMEC OBITUARY, MAYAN MENDACITY,  and EGYPTIAN ENIGMA.

The return I was most excited about was seeing Jack Shepard again. I waited ten years to hear from my PI and was thrilled for his return in THE GHOST AND THE BOGUS BESTSELLER by Cleo Coyle.

I also love food and was thrilled to find two new series showcasing Chinese and Mediterranean restaurants. I love Vivien Chien's Noodle House Mystery series, not only for her great characters and intriguing mysteries, but the setting, Cleveland, Ohio, where I once lived. Start with DEATH BY DUMPLING and continue with DIM SUM OF ALL FEARS. Baklava is one of my favorite desserts and, although known for their hummus bar, I might be able to find some in Tina Kashian's Kebab Kitchen Mystery series. Start with HUMMUS AND HOMICIDE and continue onto STABBED IN THE BAKLAVA. Want some breakfast? I love Sarah Fox's Pancake House Mystery series. The fourth book in this series was released this year, YEAST OF EDEN. She also started a new series, the Literary Pub Mystery series. I really enjoyed WINE AND PUNISHMENT. When speaking of food we can't forget beverages and I love the Whisky Business Mystery series by Melinda Mullet. DEADLY DRAM, the third book in the series, was released this year.

I'm fond of several religious mysteries and was delighted to discover Sister Agnes. You can find her in the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery series by Jane Willan. Check out my review of the second book in the series, THE HOUR OF DEATH.

New books in favorite series also include LETHAL IN OLD LACE by Duffy Brown and TOUCAN KEEP A SECRET by Donna Andrews.

If you like short stories, you mustn't miss Gigi Pandian's THE CAMBODIAN CURSE & OTHER STORIES: A JAYA JONES TREASURE HUNT MYSTERY COLLECTION.

I read many more delightful mysteries and I know that I'm leaving out some great ones...but I hope you enjoy seeing some of the books that meant a lot to me this year. I'm certain that 2019 will bring even more great reading.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Murder Likes it Hot - A Review

Review


MURDER LIKES IT HOT by Tracy Weber
The Sixth Downward Dog Mystery

Kate Davidson should be on top of the world. She's been married for a year to a wonderful man, she has a remarkable best friend, who has made it big as an entrepreneur, an incredible German Shepherd, and a Yoga studio that is doing well. But Kate is not happy. For one thing a competing yoga studio has opened a new branch right across the street from Serenity Yoga. More troubling for Kate is her infertility. She's consequently been distancing herself from her best friend, unable to see the happy mothers shopping at Infant Gratification or her own godchildren. Taking her mind off her own problems, Kate is encouraged to offer Yoga classes at a center for homeless youth. Will she find peace at Teen Path HOME, or will she find murder? 

Author Tracy Weber tackles some intense topics in her sixth Downward Dog Mystery, notably infertility and teen homelessness. Personally, I cannot comprehend women who believe they are something less if they don't have children and it boggles my mind that people are willing to go into debt in order to have a baby. Therefore, a good portion of me was shaking my head at Kate for the first portion on this book. Fortunately, as Kate got involved in another murder, my interest was again piqued and I loved getting swept away by the mystery.

Deepening characterization added dimension, but I wish that Bella would have played a bigger role. She took a decidedly back seat to all of the drama in this book. However, I was thrilled with the addition of Ed and Lonnie. I have been a rat mom for years and am delighted to see them not only added to a mystery, but portrayed in a positive light.

MURDER LIKES IT HOT is able to incorporate troubling societal issues into a compelling mystery.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Not a Creature Was Stirring by Christina Freeburn. This book is the first in the Merry and Bright Handcrafted Mystery series and will be released January 22, 2019.

Merry Winters has splurged on an new item for her Christmas crafting business-a used RV. It's perfect to transport her and all her crafting wares to various vendor events-and she got it for a steal from her step-daughter. The perfect deal turns into a nightmare when she discovers her recently divorced second husband stuffed into a storage compartment. The detective in charge is certain Merry's the murderer and her sales are plummeting as her step-daughter has arrived and is telling everyone that Merry killed her dad. Merry's adult children are doing what they can to protect and support her, including getting their dad, her first ex-husband, to be her attorney. But will that be enough to make Christmas merry again?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen - A Spotlight

In honor of the upcoming holiday I'd like to shine a spotlight on Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany. This book is the first in the Year-Round Christmas Mystery.


From the back cover:

In Rudolph, New York, it's Christmastime all year long. But this December, while the snow-lined streets seem merry and bright, a murder is about to ruin everyone's holiday cheer...

As the owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That's why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoo-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry's float is sabotaged, she has to face facts:there's a Scrooge in Christmas Town.

Mery isn't ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph's Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter's body on a late-night dog walk and police suspect he was poisoned-by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicki-Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who's really been grinching about town, before Vizki winds up on Santa's naughty list...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Cat Café Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Mollie Hunt to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Mollie writes the Crazy Cat Lady Mystery series. Cat Café is the fifth book in the series.



Kathy: In Cat Café, a body is discovered on the floor of the café and all the black cats are missing! I love black cats and currently have 2 (well, one's technically a tuxedo, but he's mainly black). Are you a black cat fan?

MH: I most certainly am! I also have a black cat, Little, and a tuxedo, Blaze, who if he crouches, looks black from above. Little is a regular character in my Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series. There are two other black cats in the clowder, Tinkerbelle and Emilio. My hero is a cat shelter volunteer, so she is always bringing home strays.


Kathy: Cat cafés are becoming quite popular. I know I'd love to go to one. Have you been to a real one, or just fictional ones?

MH: I have visited two cat cafés, one in Houston and one in my home town of Portland, Oregon. Sadly the Portland café just closed, but we are hoping someone will reopen it soon. They partnered with a local cat shelter for their cats, and over their time in business, helped adopt out over 600 cats!


Kathy: Cat Café is the fifth book in the Crazy Cat Lady Mystery series. Do you consider yourself a crazy cat lady?

MH: As Lynley would say, I’m not quite crazy yet. I am definitely a cat lady though. I love cats and find them remarkable and endlessly fascinating.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

MH: I began reading cozies when I was in my twenties. My favorite author was the much-underrated Mary Stewart who wrote several romantic mysteries that took place in exotic places. I read other genres including scifi, fantasy, poetry and even a bit of literature, but at present, I really want a story that promises a happy ending. Cozies do that.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

MH: I also write cat poetry and cat fantasy sci-fi.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

MH: The Crazy Cat Lady cozy mysteries feature Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something native Portlander who manages to find more trouble than a cat in catnip. In the first of the series, Cats’ Eyes, her old kitty Fluffo discovers a stolen uncut diamond, and Lynley finds herself accused of murdering the thieves. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HGQFJLG In the second, Copy Cats, she exposes a breed cat counterfeiting ring and becomes the target of a serial killer who murders with a grisly cat-like claw. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUVJ2V8 In Cat’s Paw, Crazy Cat Lady #3, two suspicious deaths at an elite art retreat send Lynley running back to Portland, but murder follows in her wake. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9B6LNH In Cat Call, #4, Lynley takes over as cat handler for a TV pilot only to find the show is hexed and murder is waiting in the wings. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075TWM88Q


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

MH: I love all the cats, of course, but there are many human characters as well. Special Agent Denny Paris, the animal cop, brings an easygoing police presence to the stories. Halle, Lynley’s eccentric MacKay clanmate, adds her diversity to the mix. Lynley’s teenage granddaughter Seleia is a breath of fresh air, though her mother Lisa bears a grudge that Lynley doesn’t know how to overcome. In Cat Café, I featured Lynley’s octogenarian mom Carol. It was so much fun to fill out her back story and personality, so right now, she’s my fave.


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

MH: Like Lynley, I am a shelter volunteer, and I think that was where the idea began. Lynley and I have a lot in common, though she is far more interesting than I am.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

MH: That’s a good question. I would continue to write even without possibility of publishing because I love doing it. But a part of me wants to share my stories with others. It is the one thing I have to offer that no one else can. It’s part of the creative drive.


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

MH: Fellow cat writer Shirley Rousseau Murphy; mystery writer Louise Penny; the queen of cat mysteries Lillian Jackson Braun; and Steven King, just for fun.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

MH: How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (audio); Dark Corner: a Witch Cat Mystery 2 by Vicki Vass (Kindle); A Spell of Murder by Clea Simon (print)


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

MH: I am a Trekkie and go to conventions in costume. I have a large collection of autographed photos, including several from stars who are no longer with us such as Leonard Nimoy. I also enjoy Pinterest.


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

MH: Cat food, yogurt, pasta, fresh fruit, not necessarily in that order.


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

MH: Yes, both.

Right now I am working on the next three Crazy Cat Lady mysteries, Cosmic Cat #6 (When a superhero cosplayer falls to his death at a comic con, Lynley is left holding the bag— and a cat!), Cat Noel, a Christmas Novella (Lynley finds a new meaning of Christmas when a wiccan’s familiar is cat-napped before the winter solstice festival and Lynley becomes her only hope.), and Cat Conundrum #7 (A locked room. A dead man. The cat is the only witness, and he isn’t talking.)

I also received the big news that Fire Star press will be publishing the first of my cat scifi fantasy tetralogy, Cat Summer later this year.


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

MH: I can change the world.


Kathy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

MH: Thank you for having me, Kathy! Your readers can keep in touch with me at the following sites:

Blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com

Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt

Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CatWriter

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/

@MollieHuntCats

Sign up for Mollie’s Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn.

Learn about cats! Lynley Cannon’s cat tips, tricks, and facts at the beginning of each chapter.

Books in the Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery Series:

Editions Available: Kindle, Paperback

Cats’ Eyes (Book 1)

Copy Cats (Book 2)

Cat’s Paw (Book 3)

Cat Call (Book 4)

Cat Café (Book 5)

Books need not be read in order.

*****************************************************************************

Cat Café (Crazy Cat Lady Cozy Mystery Series) by Mollie Hunt

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series 
Self Published (October 29, 2018)  
Paperback: 330 pages 
A body is discovered on the floor of the cat café, and all the black cats are missing!
Sixty-something cat shelter volunteer Lynley Cannon always finds more trouble than a cat in catnip, but this time it’s not about her. Someone is targeting very senior citizens, and when Bea Landrew, elderly owner of the Blue Cat café turns up dead, Lynley’s mom Carol could be next.
Handsome Detective Devon is looking for a link between the victims when he makes a different sort of connection— with Lynley! It’s been a long time since the cat lady had romance in her life, but while her mom is in danger, the case comes first.
It appears the cat café will go the way of its deceased owner, but Bea’s grandson, a slick Miami businessman, steps in at the last minute. Arthur is not a cat person so why would he bother? Romeo, the big Russian Blue, senses ulterior motives, but who will listen to a cat?
A black cat rescue, an antique photograph, an elaborate payback. Is this killer seeking justice or vengeance? With death as the objective, the results are the same.

About the Author


Mollie Hunt & Tinkerbelle, Registered Pet Partners

Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Mollie is the author of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series, including Cats’ Eyes, Copy Cats, Cat’s Paw, Cat Call, and Cat Café. The series features Portland native Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip. Mollie also published a non-cat mystery, Placid River Runs Deep, which delves into murder, obsession, and the challenge of chronic illness in bucolic southwest Washington. Two of her short cat stories have been published in anthologies, one of which, The Dream Spinner, won the prestigious CWA Muse Medallion this year.

Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, Willamette Writers, the Cat Writers’ Association, and the Northwest Independent Writers Association. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.

Author Links:
Blog Site: www.lecatts.wordpress.com  
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/ @MollieHuntCats  

Purchase Links:  
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt
Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CatWriter

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Currently Reading...

I just started reading Murder Likes it Hot by Tracy Weber. This book is the sixth in the Downward Dog Mystery series and will be released January 8th.

Kate Davidson should be on top of the world. She's been married for a year to a wonderful man, she has a remarkable best friend, who has made it big as an entrepreneur, an incredible German Shepherd, and a Yoga studio that is doing well. But Kate is not happy. For one thing a competing yoga studio has opened a new branch right across the street from Serenity Yoga. More troubling for Kate is her infertility. She's consequently been distancing herself from her best friend, unable to see the happy mothers shopping at Infant Gratification or her own godchildren. Taking her mind off her own problems, Kate is encouraged to offer Yoga classes at a center for homeless youth. Will she find peace at Teen Path HOME, or will she find murder?



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Slay in Character - A Review

Review


SLAY IN CHARACTER by Lynn Cahoon
The Fourth Cat Latimer Mystery

When a group of historical romance writers come for a writer's retreat, Cat Latimer hopes for a quiet productive time with camaraderie and a few laughs. A visit to the Old West tourist town of Outlaw leads to tragedy when a young woman is found strangled in a room above the saloon. The murdered girl happened to be covering for the Jessi Ball, the Covington College student attendee of the retreat, a student with "family" connections. Could Jessi have been the actual target? The other writers take Jessi under their wing as her life gets even more out of control.Will Cat be able to keep everyone safe, even as the writers attempt to solve the murder themselves? And just what is Seth up to in the back yard?

I really love this smart writer oriented series. Cat shares the expertise and life of a writer to her retreat participants and in doing so Lynn Cahoon shares it with her readers. I particularly like the tips to encourage productivity. I'd do those writers sprints myself, except that I write long hand! Aside from a realistic look at the life of an author, readers are also provided with a well plotted mystery. Subtle clues, inferences, possibilities, and red herrings cloud the investigation making for an interesting read.

The characters are complex. Each has not only a history, but dreams and aspirations, goals and motives, some bubbling under the surface, hinted at, and some expressed. Readers are pulled in, identifying, commiserating, and intrigued with the characters and so with the story.

SLAY IN CHARACTER is a character driven mystery that takes a writer's life to the next level. Despite the murders that seem to beset Cat's writing retreats, I'd love to sign up to attend one!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A Timeless Celebration - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Dianne Ascroft to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Dianne writes the Century Cottage Cozy Mystery series. A Timeless Celebration is the first book in the series.


Kathy: A Timeless Celebration is the first Century Cottage Cozy Mystery. I love architecture and vintage homes. How would you describe a century home?

DA: In Canada, and particularly in the province of Ontario, people refer to houses that are more than one hundred years old as century houses. These houses come in more than one architectural style but they are usually made from stone. The stone can be cut stone, shaped to resemble bricks, in areas where natural granite is available. Or the stone can be an indigenous material such as river or field stone which gives a much less uniform appearance to the finished building. In many parts of Ontario granite was readily available during the last century and the grey or pink stone buildings that were built from it have become very much part of the architectural history of rural Ontario.

My character Lois lives in a traditional granite cut-stone house built to a pattern known as the Ontario Cottage. The typical cottage had one-and-a-half storeys and large windows. The most distinctive feature was the single gable above the door in the centre of the building. By the late nineteenth century Gothic style architecture was popular for these houses which resulted in gables that were ornately decorated.

Century houses are defined by their external features but modern home owners want to retain as much of the original interior character of the house as possible too. This means that wide plank wooden floors, wooden architraves around doorways and windows, and simple brick fireplaces are important features to conserve. The interior of the house should be rustic and homey.


Kathy: The first book in the series involves the theft of an artifact from the Titanic. I've always been fascinated by the Titanic. Have you always been drawn to it as well?

DA: Yes, I have. I read A Night To Remember by Walter Lord when I was in my early teens and his writing evoked that night so vividly in my mind that I’ve never forgotten the book and it left me with a lasting interest in the events of that night. The poignant bravery of many of the people aboard the ship as they faced death profoundly affected me. So I’ve always been drawn to novels written about it and any new facts that emerge about the sinking. I was glued to the television when details first emerged about the discovery of the wreck in the mid-1980s. I know others are equally captivated by the ship and the tragedy so that nudged me to include an item from the Titanic in my novel.


Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

DA: Three or four years ago I reviewed several cozy mysteries for author blog tours. That was my introduction to the cozy genre and I found that I enjoyed the warmhearted, often humorous stories and I loved to escape to the charming places where they were set. After reviewing several books, I started reading them for my own pleasure. At the time, I was writing Second World War fiction, set in Northern Ireland, then last summer, I decided to have a change of pace and I found myself writing as well as reading cozy mysteries.


Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

DA: Yes, as I mentioned, I was writing Second World War fiction, set in Northern Ireland, for several years before I ventured into cozy mystery. My World War II series The Yankee Years has seven novellas in it to date. I’ve also released a contemporary short story collection as well as a couple other historical fiction books.


Kathy: Tell us about your series.

DA: The Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series features heartwarming stories set in a small town in Canada. The main character, widow Lois Stone, has moved from the big city and is trying to adjust to life on her own in a century cottage with her two calico cats. As she settles into her new life, her tranquility is often rocked by adventures and mysteries that she can’t ignore.


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

DA: Lois Stone, the main character in A Timeless Celebration, is definitely one of my favourite characters in this book. I have to admit that I may have a bit of a crush on her quiet friend, Bruce, because I can just imagine his soulful eyes. But back to Lois. In many ways, though not entirely, she is very like me so I feel an affinity with her. After years of doing detailed historical research for my previous books, I decided that my first cozy mystery wouldn’t involve a huge amount of research. So as I created Lois, I deliberately used some of my own likes and dislikes to make her real. That made it very easy for me to bring her to life, and since she has so much in common with me, we ‘hit it off’ and are great friends.


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

DA: One of the things that draws readers to a cozy mystery is a place that appeals to them. It’s important that the place where the story is set beckons to readers to step in and stay a while. One of the reasons I love cozy mysteries is that they allow me to explore the place as well as the mystery at the heart of the story.

There’s some places that just linger in your mind. Something about the atmosphere of a particular location grips you. For me that spot is Fergus, Ontario, Canada, a small town one hundred kilometres northwest of Toronto. It captivated me almost forty years ago when I first visited it, and last summer I realised that it was the right place for my first cozy mystery novel. I wanted to create a warm, welcoming place that would be central to my stories and that readers would want to return to for the next book. So I fictionalised the small town that I knew. It became Fenwater and my novel evolved from there.


Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

DA: As I was writing my first historical novel a decade ago, I wondered how I should go about getting it published. I wasn’t sure whether I should approach traditional publishers or publish it myself. But, in the end, I didn’t have to make the decision because I stumbled across an advertisement in an Irish magazine for a First Chapter contest, run by a self-publishing services company. I entered the contest and, I was surprised and delighted when my novel won. The prize was a publishing package provided by the company. I found the experience of working with them a positive one. I liked having considerable input into the cover design, book layout, and marketing so when my next book was ready to release indie publishing was my choice. Over the years I’ve gained knowledge and skills and now hire my own cover designer and editor and independently release my book.


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

DA: My first invitation would go to historical and crime fiction author, Manda Scott. She has a fantastic ability to capture people and places in her writing, and often sees historical events from different angles than usual, creating whole new dimensions to plots. I’d also invite cozy mystery writer Leighann Dobbs, because I love the appealing worlds she creates in her books, and romance writer Sarah Morgan, because it’s impossible not to love her characters. I indulge in one of Sarah’s Christmas romances every year. And, last but not least, I’d invite Lucinda Riley because her storytelling ability always keeps me hooked until the end of the book.


Kathy: What are you currently reading?

DA: I always have a ‘stack’ of books waiting on my Kindle but the one I’m currently reading is The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley. I really enjoy her Seven Sisters series and every year I pre-order the next book in the series and eagerly wait for it to be released. I’m also reading The Agora Letters Volume 2 by Clay Boutwell. It’s a great, old fashioned mystery series in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes.


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

DA: Sure. My husband and I live on a small farm and I enjoy the outdoors so when the household chores are completed (my least favourite part of life) and I’m not reading or writing, I go for long walks and also spend time with our pets. For many years, we had a pair of goats as companions until the last one died a couple years ago. Now our closest companions are a pair of cats. There’s not much difference between the two species really: cats are just stubbornness and determination in a smaller package.


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

DA: Maple syrup, cinnamon, pancake mix, tea. The first three are items that my character, Lois, couldn’t live without. Unlike me though, she would prefer coffee to tea.


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

DA: I’ll definitely continue writing the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Since I’m convinced that the real town Fenwater is based on is the perfect place to set a cozy mystery, I want to write more stories set in my fictional version of it. So that’s my plan for the immediate future: to write the second book in the Century Cottage Mysteries series and the next one and the next one…Book 2 should be ready to release next summer or early autumn.

I’m also working on a prequel novella, set in 1983 in the last area of Toronto to still prohibit the sale of alcohol (continuing without a break from before even the days of Prohibition in the 1930s), to give readers a glimpse into Lois Stone’s life before she moved to Fenwater, and reveal what prompted her move to the small town. The novella, “Out of Options”, will be available early in the new year.


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

DA: I love conjuring up ideas and scribbling down the stories that flow from them. When a story is finally completed, it’s exciting to see the finished work. The hardest or worst part is the slog in the middle when you must revise your original draft, more than once, so that it conforms to the wonderful idea you started with and turns into the book you imagined when you started writing. But it’s great when you get to the end of the process and have a book in your hands.

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A Timeless Celebration (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft

About the Book

 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Self Published (October 25, 2018) 
Print Length: 245 pages
A small town, a big party, a stolen gift. When an artefact from the Titanic is stolen before her town's 150th anniversary celebration, it's up to Lois Stone to catch the thief.
Middle-aged widow Lois has moved from bustling Toronto to tranquil Fenwater and is settling into her new life away from the dangers of the city. Then two events happen that shatter her serenity: her house is burgled and an antique watch belonging to a Titanic survivor is stolen from the local museum. Her best friend, Marge, was responsible for the watch's safekeeping until its official presentation to the museum at the town's 150th anniversary party, and its disappearance will jeopardise her job and the museum's future. Lois won't let her friend take the blame and the consequences for the theft. She's determined to find the watch in time to save her best friend's job, the museum's future and the town's 150th anniversary celebration.
And so begins a week of new friends, apple and cinnamon muffins, calico cats, midnight intruders, shadowy caprine companions and more than one person with a reason to steal the watch, set against the backdrop of century houses on leafy residential streets, the swirling melodies of bagpipes, a shimmering heat haze and the burble of cool water.

About the Author

 

Dianne Ascroft is a Torontonian who has settled in rural Northern Ireland. She and her husband live on a small farm with an assortment of strong-willed animals. A Timeless Celebration is the first novel in the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries series. Her previous fiction works include The Yankee Years series of novels and short reads, set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War; An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavour. Dianne writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her articles and short stories have been printed in Canadian and Irish magazines and newspapers. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walks in the countryside, evenings in front of her open fireplace and folk and traditional music.  
  • Author Links
Website: http://www.dianneascroft.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DianneAscroftwriter  
Twitter: @DianneAscroft  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1357575.Dianne_Ascroft  
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  • Purchase Links:
Amazon ebook: US - UK Amazon print: US - UK

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