Sunday, August 2, 2020

A From Beer to Eternity Interview, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Sherry Harris to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Sherry writes the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery series. FROM BEER TO ETERNITY is the first book in the series and was released last week.

Kathy: Chloe Jackson has moved to Florida to help her friend's grandmother run a saloon. if you were to visit the establishment would you be more apt to have a beer, wine, or a cocktail?

SH: Definitely a cocktail! When I visit the panhandle of Florida I love to either have something fruity or a Bushwacker which is kind of like a chocolate shake for adults.

Kathy: Is the Sea Glass Saloon based on a real bar or is it purely fictional?

SH: It is based on a couple of bars. One is The Whale’s Tail in Miramar Beach, Florida and the other is The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida.

Kathy: Vivi Slidell isn't the frail retiree Chloe expected. With a culture so focused on youth, why do you feel it's important to shine a light on older people and the fact they aren't always the meek quiet types?

SH: I know so many wonderful, feisty older women. I was visiting my mom in the panhandle of Florida a few years ago and her bridge friends were over. They are a hoot. Vivi is loosely based on one of the women in the group and what I imagine my friend Carol will be like someday.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

SH: Growing up my house was always full of mysteries and thrillers. I think the first cozy-type mysteries I read were the Cat Who books by Lillian Braun Jackson and the Southern Sister mysteries by Anne George. They both had interesting characters, good plots, and a touch of humor.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

SH: I have a light romance that I hope to finish one of these days.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

SH: From Beer to Eternity is the first in a new series featuring Chloe Jackson who promised her friend if anything happened to him, she helped his grandmother with her beach bar in Florida. When she arrives in Florida she finds out Vivi isn’t the helpless old lady she was picturing, but when Vivi’s suspected of murder Chloe can’t abandon her.

I also write the Agatha Award nominated Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries set in the fictional town of Ellington, Massachusetts. When Sarah finds herself suddenly single with few job skills after years as an Air Force wife, she starts a garage sale business to earn a living. Learning to stand on her own two feet isn’t easy, especially when she keeps stumbling over dead bodies.

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

SH: Oh, that’s a tough one because I fall in love with most of my characters – even the bad ones. I do love Vivi’s fierce independence and loyalty to her friends. I suspect Vivi and Chloe are more alike than either of them are willing to admit.

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

SH: When my editor at Kensington and I were talking about ideas for a second series we had a hard time finding an idea we both loved. He suggested a beach bar in Key West, but I knew nothing about the area. So I suggested a fictional town near Destin, Florida where I’d visited for a number of years and lived for three.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

SH: Publishing was a longtime dream. I’ve written two and a half other novels that will probably never see the light of day. Getting the opportunity to write the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries almost felt like a miracle after years of rejections from agents.

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

SH: Shakespeare – we had a Shakespeare for Children book when I was growing up and I always loved his plays. Jane Austen – what a fascinating life. Louisa May Alcott – we lived near her home in Concord, Massachusetts for five years and I toured it often. Louise Penny because she’s an amazing woman and writer.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?


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

SH: If reading is a hobby, that’s mine. It’s my way to escape reality. I also love walking our westie, Lily, and traveling.

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

SH: Parmesan cheese, pasta, olive oil (hmmm, there seems to be some connection there), and chocolate.

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

SH: The ninth book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries, ABSENCE OF ALICE, comes out on December 29th, and the second book in the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon series, A TIME TO SWILL, comes out in August 2021.

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

SH: Hearing from readers. It’s a privilege to write something that moves someone enough to make them take time out of their busy lives to send a note.



The First Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery

Taking a leave of absence from her job as a children's librarian in Chicago, Chloe Jackson arrives in Florida to fulfill a promise to her late best friend. But helping his grandmother, Vivi, is not as simple as she thought. Instead of the shy and retiring lady she expected, Vivi is a brash spitfire who seems to hate her, although she allows Chloe to help out at her Sea Glass Saloon. Chloe stumbles upon one of the regulars, dead by the bar's dumpster, and Vivi is brought in for questioning...multiple times.  A promise is a promise, and if helping Vivi means looking into the man's murder, so be it. Will Chloe be able to uncover the secrets of this close knit community in order to find a murderer? Or will she die trying?

Loyalty is the hallmark of the first Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon Mystery. Chloe's loyalty to her friend, even after death, the heritage businesses loyalty to each other, and loyalty to Emerald Cove itself are integral facets to the mystery.

FROM BEER TO ETERNITY started out slow and I had a hard time getting into it, but by the end I was racing through, devouring every page. I like Chloe Jackson. Her quirks and backstory, along with her independence make her an appealing protagonist. Vivi is another story, as she is meant to be. Of course Joaquin is the perfect new friend and Rhett someone to smolder over. All of the characters come to life on the page and it's obvious they all had lives prior to the novel, bringing a ton of developed characterization with them. The references to GONE WITH THE WIND, the Wizard of Oz, and other children's books added a delightful element.

FROM BEER TO ETERNITY captures the beauty of the Florida coast, the refreshment of a well made cocktail, and the importance of friendship in a captivating mystery. 


From Beer to Eternity (A Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery) by Sherry Harris

About from Beer to Eternity

Cozy Mystery New Series  
Publisher: Kensington (July 28, 2020)  
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages 
A whip smart librarian’s fresh start comes with a tart twist in this perfect cocktail of murder and mystery—with a romance chaser.
With Chicago winters in the rearview mirror, Chloe Jackson is making good on a promise: help her late friend’s grandmother run the Sea Glass Saloon in the Florida Panhandle. To Chloe’s surprise, feisty Vivi Slidell isn’t the frail retiree Chloe expects. Nor is Emerald Cove. It’s less a sleepy fishing village than a panhandle hotspot overrun with land developers and tourists. But it’s a Sea Glass regular who’s mysteriously crossed the cranky Vivi. When their bitter argument comes to a head and he’s found dead behind the bar, guess who’s the number one suspect?
In trying to clear Vivi’s name, Chloe discovers the old woman isn’t the only one in Emerald Cove with secrets. Under the laidback attitude, sparkling white beaches, and small town ways something terrible is brewing. And the sure way a killer can keep those secrets bottled up is to finish off one murder with a double shot: aimed at Chloe and Vivi.

About Sherry Harris

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and the upcoming Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries. She is a past president of Sisters in Crime, and a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers.
In her spare time, Sherry loves reading and is a patent-holding inventor. Sherry, her husband, and guard dog Lily are living in northern Virginia until they figure out where they want to move to next.  

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