Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Stowed Away Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Barbara Ross to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Barbara writes the Maine Clambake Mystery series. STOWED AWAY, the sixth book in the series, was released December 26th.

Kathy: Julia Snowden and her family have an authentic Maine clambake business. What is the best part of a clambake?

BR: The best part of a clambake is that it usually involves a gathering of friends or relations, often for a holiday or special occasion, being together, outdoors, eating delicious food and enjoying the all-too-short summer.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite recipe for clams?

BR: I think it would be my husband’s recipe for clam dip. It will be in STEAMED OPEN, the next book in the series.

Kathy: In STOWED AWAY Julia gets invited to dinner on a billionaire’s decked-out yacht. Have you ever dreamed of owning such a yacht?

BR: Not once. I’m a great believer in the joke, “What is a yacht owner’s second happiest day?” “The day he buys his boat.” “What is his happiest day?” “The day he sells it.” However, I wouldn’t turn down in invitation for cocktails on a beautiful night, or even for a few days cruise.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

BR: Nancy Drew, of course. I love the traditional mystery where a tragedy disrupts a fictional world, but all is set right and justice is served by the end. If only real life was like that.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

BR: No. I write short stories, which may not center on solving a murder, but there’s always some sort of a crime involved.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

BR: In the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Julia Snowden returns from her life in venture capital in Manhattan to save her family’s failing clambake business.

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

BR: A character of someone else’s? Probably Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe and Ruth Rendell’s Reg Wexford. They are both moral and kind with a strong sense of justice.

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

BR: Yes! My friend author Lea Wait told me about her daughter’s wedding at a clambake thrown on a private island off the coast of Maine.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

BR: I was offered a publishing deal! Actually, it is a big deal to turn your hobby into a business, and I thought long and hard about it. In the end, the pros outweighed the cons.

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

BR: Such a hard one. I think PD James, Ruth Rendell, Alice Munro and Louise Penny.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

BR: ADVENTURES IN YARN FARMING: FOUR SEASONS ON A NEW ENGLAND FIBER FARM. I’m reading it for research for the holiday novella coming out in the collection YULE LOG MURDER at the end of this year.

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

BR: Hmm. Having changed my former hobby, writing, into my job, I would say at this point my only hobby is scrapbooking.

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

BR: Hmm, this is hard one. Peanut butter, jelly, butter, Triscuits.

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

BR: Yes! There will be three more book and two new holiday novellas in the Maine Clambake Mystery series, plus a new series starting in 2019.

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

BR: The writing process, of course, especially the revisions when know what the story is about. Also, I love that I can write anywhere. It allows my husband and me to travel and stay in many places, even while I write.


It’s June in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and Julia Snowden and her family are working hard to get their authentic Maine clambake business ready for summer. Preparations must be put on hold, however, when a mysterious yacht drops anchor in the harbor—and delivers an unexpected dose of murder . . .

When Julia’s old prep school rival Wyatt Jayne invites her to dinner on board her billionaire fiancé’s decked-out yacht, Julia arrives to find a sumptuous table set for two—and the yachtsman dead in his chair. Suspicion quickly falls on Wyatt, and Julia’s quest to dredge up the truth leads her into the murky private world of a mega-rich recluse who may not have been all that he seemed . . .


Barbara Ross is the author of six Maine Clambake Mysteries: Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, Iced Under, and Stowed Away. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel, and RT Books Reviewer’s Choice Awards, as well as the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with a group of writers of New England-based cozy mysteries at Wicked Cozy Authors. In the summer, Barbara writes on the big front porch of the former Seafarer Inn at the head of the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

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