Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Spring Upon a Crime - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome ML Erdahl to Cozy Up With Kathy today. ML writes the Seattle Wilderness Mystery series. Spring Upon a Crime is the second book in the series and was released last month.

Kathy: In Spring Upon a Crime we meet Crystal Rainey, a wilderness guide. Are you fond of hiking, camping, and other wilderness pursuits? 

MLE: I spent my entire life enjoying the outdoors, including working in the Olympic National Park for several summers. It gave me an expansive knowledge to start from, but when I need to do more book research, it is way more fun than going to the library or searching on the internet. So far I have taken up snowshoeing, rock-climbing, and white-water river rafting to immerse myself, all to bring them to life in my books.

Kathy: Crystal has to deal with loggers, developers, and eco-protesters as she seeks to help her friend. Whose camp are you more inclined to be in? 

MLE: I have a muddled background to be sure. I come from a home-steading family with both my grandfather and one of my uncles being loggers, but went on to a twenty year career as an environmental chemist. At the core, I am an environmentalist, but viscerally understand the hardships logging communities face when their income source is taken from them in the interest of conservation.

Kathy: The Olympic Peninsula is said to be breathtaking. In fact, my cousin recently moved there. What makes this location a perfect setting for your mystery series? 

MLE: The Olympic Peninsula is peppered with quaint, quiet towns surrounding the stunning mountains. When I worked in the Olympic National Park, we used to leave the woods once a week to get burgers in Forks, so it was quite a shock to see it become a well-known name from the Twilight series. The tight-knit communities of the Peninsula make it the perfect place to set a cozy mystery. Everyone knows each other, allowing for that ideal level of gossip and suspicion.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries? 

MLE: Years ago, my wife and I did a genre swap to spice up our reading life. I gave her Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and she offered up mysteries. I loved the books by Mary Daheim, Janet Evanovich, and Nevada Barr, and my own mystery began percolating in my brain.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres? 

MLE: I haven’t yet, but I think my next series will be a paranormal cozy mystery series. It allows me to mash up my two favorite genres of fantasy and cozy.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

MLE: The Seattle Wilderness mystery series is Crystal Rainey’s story, who jumps off the corporate hamster wheel and bluffs her way into being a wilderness guide. She’s determined to succeed, but suffers from imposter syndrome as she leads people on their excursions..not to mention a whole lot of unfortunate murders.

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

MLE: One-hundred percent, my favorite is Roxie, the hostess and chef. She is a former actress who adopts a southern accent since it gets her better reviews from guests who adore her classic Southern hospitality. She has a heart of gold, and lacks social filters, which makes her a ridiculous amount of fun to write.

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

MLE: The outdoor seasons are a constantly changing setting that inspires the titles of the novels. The characters in my books are part imagination, as well a blending of people from my life (Many of my wife’s traits make it into Crystal’s personality.)

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work? 

MLE: I wrote the first draft simply because I love writing. When it was finished, I re-read the book. I’m not going to lie, it was the roughest of rough drafts, but I could tell there was a top-notch story at the core. I joined my local writers’ association, read books on the craft, and hired an editor. I applied everything I learned to the revisions until it was highly polished, and then pitched it to what is now my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The rest is history.

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

MLE: This is a tough one, since there are so many interesting author personalities. However, if it comes down to it, I’m sending invitations to Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, and Robert Jordan.

Kathy: What are you currently reading? 

MLE: An ARC for Deadly Reunion by my friend and fellow cozy author Linda Hope Lee.

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

MLE: As you can guess, I am constantly hiking, camping, and jumping into the outdoor activity I’m currently writing about. However, in my quiet time, I love to read and garden. The zen of those activities keeps me grounded for my otherwise hectic life.

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

MLE: Coffee (I am from Seattle after all), tea, cheese, and trail mix—Everything I need to face the day.

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

MLE: The Seattle Wilderness Mystery series will be at least four books, one for each season. After that, I’ll probably start my paranormal cozy series before returning to Crystal’s adventures at a later date.

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

MLE: The best moments are when inspiration strikes, and you know you’ve concocted the perfect scene. The pen flows across the paper, and the details fill themselves in. It’s a magical moment when all you want to do is keep writing forever.


 Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery) by ML Erdahl

About Spring Upon A Crime

Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (January 13, 2021)
Paperback: 294 pages

Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner's body, murder weapon in hand.

Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?

About ML Erdahl

Award-winning author ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be pet and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he's not working away in front of a computer, you can find him gardening, hiking, or grumbling to his wife, Emily, about the perpetual Northwest winter rain that prevents him from going outside.

Author Links Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Goodreads Bookbub 

Purchase Links Amazon Barnes and Noble Apple Books Kobo Google Play 

 Book 1 in this Series  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Welcome today. It is a fun post today. I love to get to know authors and what made them start writing and why. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me today! For an author, it's so much fun to discuss writing and being an author. It's a topic I frequently discuss with other authors and it is astonishing how all of our stories differ. ML Erdahl

  3. The cover is great. Looks and sounds like a great book. Would love to read and review all your books in print format.
    The fact is I like the idea this is a book about camping and murder and crime. Always love to analyze a book and see if can happen in real life. Also, I like to see how the characters deal with their problems and solve them.
    I Hope I Win.

    1. Hi Crystal! You also share the name with my main character, so it should be easy to put yourself in her shoes! Best of luck winning the contest! ML Erdahl

  4. what a wonderful cover. i love that she brought her cat camping with her. and marshmallows are the thing to do when camping for sure. would like to read one of his books. i love humorous cozies.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  5. Elf the cat doesn't get to go camping with her, unfortunately! However, I love the cat so much, I asked the artist to add him to the cover. He is based on my own cat, Noel, who terrorized me for years and who I loved with all of my heart! ML

  6. A fun interview. I think a lot of us really dont fully understand what a loggers life is/was. Only what we read about. This is cool that you can draw from your life like this and write about it. Thanks for sharing. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  7. What a great interview and so interesting! I hope that you get a lot of readers that review. I am not entering for the book as can only do print battling a disease RSD but the starbucks card is a great giveaway. So glad that you came to this site. peggy clayton

  8. Congratulations for going for your dream. Even though your draft was very rough you didnt give up and a lot of readers are grateful. Keep reaching for your dream. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  9. Adorable names for your dogs. What kind are they. I love to read how an author gets their inspiration from.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  10. I really like how you research by doing for your books. That is not only cool but wonderful exercise. I also like that you have such wonderful down times too. Thanks for sharing about yourself.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net