Kathy: In WITCH HUNT we meet Violet Mooney who owns the Full Moon Crystal Shop. I love crystal and metaphysical shops. Unfortunately, not everyone does, as Violet soon discovers. Since the pandemic hit I've been lucky as my two favorite shops offer online shopping! Although it's not the same as being able to browse in person! Are you a fan of such shops?
CC: Hi Kathy! Thanks for having me! I am a HUGE fan of these shops - in fact, I’ve been doing curbside pickup at least once a month from one of my favorite local shops. And there are a couple of places online that I like as well. I could never have gone for three months without new crystals!
Kathy: I'm a crystal reader and have been collecting these wonderful stones for decades. Do you collect crystals too? Do you have any favorites? (A very difficult question, I know.)
CC: Oh gosh, so many favorites! Yes, I collect them and while I do have a number of favorites, I also love learning about new stones. For example, I recently discovered ruby fuchsite, which is a lovely greenish stone that has almost polka dots of other colors in it. It is wonderful for the heart chakra and emotional healing, and one of my new besties.
Otherwise, I love lapis lazuli, amethyst, moonstone and pyrite. I also have a lemurian blue onyx that has become a favorite.
Kathy: With the reemergence of family, comes a revelation and awakening of mysterious powers. Is Violet's magick based on a particular path?
CC: It’s not. I didn’t want to be beholden to rules, I just wanted to make this up as I went and have fun with it. I spent a lot of time in Salem, Mass. as a college student and learned about witches, and did study witchcraft for a while. But in the end I wanted to be able to take liberties with Violet’s world - that’s what fiction is all about, right?
Kathy: Like Violet, I also have a robust orange cat. Is Monty based on a real cat, or is he totally fictional?
CC: Orange cats are the best!! I used to be very involved in cat rescue and I fostered many cats over the years. I had one favorite foster, a big fat orange cat named Monty. I always regretted letting him go, but I was a failed foster to so many cats that I had to stop adopting! I found him a wonderful forever home but still think of him today, and this was my way of paying tribute to him.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
CC: The idea that in the end, justice is served and the world can be righted somewhat. I also love being able to visit friends who become like family over and and over, and cozy mystery series give us that.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
CC: I do love to write dark, and I am working on a suspense novel that I hope to (finally) share with the world. I’ve been working on it for a while, and with a day job and other contracts to fulfill it’s a slower process than I would like. But “dark” is my first love and I will get it done.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
CC: The Full Moon Mysteries chronicles the life of crystal shop owner Violet Mooney, a 32-year-old witch who has no idea she’s a witch…until her long-lost mother shows up in town on one of the worst days of her life.
The Cat Cafe Mysteries feature Maddie James, who returns to her hometown of Daybreak Island for a funeral and gets embroiled in a murder case, a family problem and a whole lot of drama - and winds up staying and opening a cat cafe in her Grandpa Leo’s family home.
The Pawsitively Organic Mysteries (Liz Mugavero) feature Stan Connor, a PR executive who gets job eliminated and turns to small-town life with her Maine coon cat. Next thing she knows, she’s a gourmet pet food chef and chief murder-solver…who would’ve guessed?
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
CC: I love all my characters! It’s like picking your favorite dog or cat…but I would have to say I am partial to Cyril Pierce, a quirky reporter in my Pawsitively Organic Mysteries (under Liz Mugavero). As a former reporter, I love having newspeople in my books and Cyril really took on a more major role in the series than I’d ever intended, even partnering up with Stan to solve a couple of crimes.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
CC: When my editor and I were talking about the premise for this book, he referenced Bewitched - and it completely clicked for me. I loved that show, and the idea of a mother and daughter witch team was completely bewitching to me (pun intended). Also I always wanted to be able to wiggle my nose and be somewhere else, so I knew I had to work that into the story. It’s not so much a nose wiggle, but my characters either touch some kind of a talisman or a piece of jewelry to teleport.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
CC: I knew since I was a kid that I wanted to be a published author - I even wrote an essay about it in the fifth grade. Being published with multiple series is really a dream come true.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
CC: This is a fun question and my answer seems to change every time I am asked! Current mood: James Baldwin, Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
CC: Laura Lippman’s LADY IN THE LAKE.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
CC: I love to read (no surprise there) and I love crystals, as I already mentioned. I also love to workout, do yoga, hang out with my dogs and cats, and I am a total beach girl.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
CC: Coffee, potato chips, berries, kombucha.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
CC: Yes! Book four in the Cat Cafe series, A Whisker of a Doubt, will be out later this year, and I am hard at work finishing book two in the Full Moon series.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
CC: Getting to meet all the amazing readers! I am so thankful for all of you.
Witch Hunt (A Full Moon Mystery) by Cate Conte
About Witch Hunt
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher:
Kensington (June 30, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Murder isn’t always crystal-clear . . . especially when the prime suspect discovers she’s a witch.
Violet Mooney owns The Full Moon crystal shop in quaint North Harbor, Connecticut. Still grieving her beloved grandmother’s recent unexpected death, she takes comfort in her fat orange cat Monty and her work. Not everyone in town is thrilled with her business, however. When disagreeable town councilwoman Carla Fernandez picks a fight over Violet’s "voodoo shop," the two have a very public confrontation. Of course, when Carla turns up dead, Violet gets little sympathy from the police as suspect #1.
But the shock of two policemen showing up at her door pales in comparison to the sudden appearance of her estranged mother Fiona and a surprise sister, Zoe. What Fiona reveals will rock her world and her sense of self—and reawaken her long-dormant mysterious power. Good thing. She’s gonna need it . . .
About Cate Conte
Cate Conte is the alter ego of Liz Mugavero. Liz is the author of the Pawsitively Organic Mystery series from Kensington Books, the first of which was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. Cate is the author of the new Full Moon Mysteries for Kensington and writes the Cat Cafe Mystery series for Minotaur Books. As you can imagine, her canine and feline rescues demand the best organic food and treats around. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, Sisters in Crime New England, Mystery Writers of America, and the Cat Writers’ Association. She currently lives in Connecticut.
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I hope you had a chance to read the review I posted Monday, but if you haven't, you can follow this link!