Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Stewed Observation - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Karen C. Whalen to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Karen writes the Dinner Club Mystery series. A Stewed Observation is the fourth book in the series and was released last month.

Kathy: The Dinner Club Murder Mystery series features members of a dinner club. Have you ever been a member of such a group? What does it entail?

KW: I’ve been a member of a dinner club group for about ten years. Between six and eight of us meet once a month. The idea is to try out new gourmet recipes together with wine pairings and put on an attractive table presentation.

Kathy: The Gourmet Dinner Club travels to Ireland in A Stewed Observation. What's your favorite Irish delicacy?

Even though I named the book “Stewed,” my favorite is Shepherd’s Pie

Kathy: The group stays in a castle. I have always dreamed of living in a castle. What about you. Are castles the stuff of dreams or nightmares?

KW: I don’t know how private individuals own castles because the upkeep would be backbreaking. Also, modernization is expensive. But all the same, there are so many castles in Ireland, it’s wonderful that people do buy them and restore them.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KW: Agatha Christie introduced me to the cozy. Although the subject is murder, this genre always makes me feel uplifted. The mystery is solved by a protagonist I feel could be my best friend. It’s a safe world to visit, in spite of the protagonist inserting herself into a dangerous situation. She will prevail! And if she can, then I can, too.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KW: No, although my son and I are plotting a dystopian. Who knows? Maybe we will write it someday.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KW: In the dinner club series, amateur sleuth Jane Marsh is always game to try new things now that she’s in the empty nest stage of her life, including joining an exclusive dinner club. Stumbling across dead bodies has also developed into one of her hobbies. Using paralegal skills honed at her job in a Denver law firm, she knows how to conduct an investigation. But her suspicious mind collides with her trusting nature as she stirs up trouble while serving up one dinner party after another.

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

KW: Other than the protagonist, my favorite character in my books is her sidekick Olivia Ladner, a status-seeking, snarky socialite, who always seems to have the best lines and makes me laugh.

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

KW: I’m inspired by my dinner club friends. Some of the situations in the books actually happened. Once I drove a friend down a pedestrian path by mistake, almost driving into a wedding photoshoot. Yes, I really did. That story was too good not to include in book three. Also, my husband and I love to travel and Ireland is one of our favorite countries. That trip inspired A Stewed Observation.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KW: Writing is telling a story. Telling implies someone else is hearing it, although many writers say they are only writing for themselves. But telling a story, to me, involves a hearer of the story. Publishing makes the story come alive, knowing someone will read it, understand it, and hopefully enjoy it.

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

KW: Only four, hmmmm. I love the classics, including Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemmingway. Also, I’ve read Laura Ingalls Wilders Little House series over and over. But, the authors I would invite are my current favorites, M. C. Beaton, Janet Evanovich, Joanne Fluke, and Craig Johnson.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KW: Craig Johnson’s The Western Star (Longmire series)

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

KW: I love, love, love to ride my bike just about anywhere, and another favorite hobby is to hike in the Rocky Mountains.

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

KW: Half-n-half (for lattes), beef bouillon paste (in the jar), butter, and onions.

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

KW: I’m working on the seventh and last book in the dinner club mysteries. A new series is brewing in my mind, a little edgier and not so cozy. My goal is to start that next year.

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

KW: When I finish a scene that really works, that seems natural and flows, that says exactly what I want it to say, that makes me laugh. One where I’m not aware of the words on the page, but instead I can picture the scene in my mind as it unfolds. There’s no feeling like that.


A Stewed Observation (A Dinner Club Murder Mysteries) by Karen C. Whalen

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 4th in Series  
The Wild Rose Press, Inc (August 6, 2018)  
Print Length: 214 pages
The Gourmet Dinner Club travels to Ireland to enjoy Irish cuisine while staying at a medieval, ivy-covered castle. Jane Marsh hopes Dale Capricorn will ask her to marry him at this romantic dream destination. But her plans are put on hold when the elderly castle owner becomes violent, a club member restrains him, and he collapses and dies. The police believe the mysterious death is murder and begin to suspect one of the club’s members. Dale leaves for home on a business emergency, and as the lone single gal in the club full of couples, Jane is thrown into the company of Griffin O’Doherty, the handsome Irishman who stands to inherit the castle. Jane must prove her friend’s innocence by solving the crime. Which of the sweet-tempered Irish could be a callous killer?

About the Author

Karen C. Whalen is the author of a culinary cozy series, the “dinner club murder mysteries.” The first four in the series are: Everything Bundt the Truth, Not According to Flan, No Grater Evil, and A Stewed Observation. The first book in the series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Her books are similar to those written by cozy authors Jessica Beck and Joanne Fluke. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado and has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She believes that it's never too late to try something new. She loves to host dinner clubs, entertain friends, ride bicycles, hike in the mountains, and read cozy murder mysteries.

Author Links:
Website - http://karencwhalen.com
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/whalenkarenc  
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/whalenkarenc  
Twitter - https://twitter.com/whalenkc  
GoodReads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15891729.Karen_C_Whalen  

Purchase Links: Amazon The Wild Rose Press iBooks

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  1. A new to me series. I will have to check it out.

  2. I really enjoy reading cozies. Thanks for this opportunity.

  3. Thanks so much for checking in. It's nice to meet both of you!