I'm pleased to welcome Linda Lovely to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Linda writes the HOA Mystery series. WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE is the first book in the series and was released earlier this month.
Kathy: I've never wanted to live where a HOA existed for various reasons...several found in WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE. Have you ever belonged to one?
LL: I’ve lived in four HOAs. I’ve been secretary, vice president and president of an HOA, and I’ve joined a lawsuit against one. A homeowner association’s potential for good or harm depends largely on the personalities, ethics and agendas of the individuals who serve as directors.
Kathy: My blood boils when I read about hunters invading nature sanctuaries, a trait I share with Kylee's mother. Was there a specific reason to add this topic to your first HOA Mystery?
LL: How to handle deer overpopulation has been a source of controversy in communities for decades. It was a good fit for my plot as I needed to portray the type of feud that sparks passion. However, this particular feud wasn’t inspired by my knowledge of any particular incident.
Kathy: WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE is categorized as a traditional mystery while your Brie Hooker Mystery series is considered a cozy. While these subgenres are quite similar, there are distinct differences. Why make your latest series traditional?
LL The line between cozies and traditional mysteries is often blurred. The villain’s motive in WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE touches on a few topics that might make some cozy mystery readers uncomfortable. However, in this series, I am still making an effort to avoid excessive swearing and gore, and I’m leaving the bedroom door closed for romantic scenes.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
LL: I started reading mysteries and adventures in grade school. I love trying to solve puzzles, rooting for heroines and heroes, and knowing (in the types of crime fiction I prefer) that smart, determined good guys will triumph no matter the odds. Mysteries and thrillers are an antidote to discouraging news headlines and reinforce my optimism that good will win out.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
LL: This is my ninth book. All fall within the broad crime fiction category but there’s quite a bit of diversity. My new, traditional HOA Mysteries feature a retired Coast Guard heroine who serves as a security consultant for an HOA management firm. This recently retired heroine has a lot in common with the heroine in my Marley Clark Mysteries. Marley’s a fifty-year-old Army veteran.
My cozy Brie Hooker Series features a vegan chef who lives on a goat farm with her cantankerous, carnivore aunt. My Smart Women, Dumb Luck novels are steamier romantic thrillers. And, finally, there’s LIES: Secrets Can Kill, a standalone romantic suspense set in 1938.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
LL: My favorite heroine is Catherine (Cat) Reedy in my historical suspense novel set in 1938. While I love all my heroines, Cat is especially dear to me because my mother and her stories of life for young women in the late thirties inspired her.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
LL: I did mention I’ve lived in four HOAs, didn’t I?
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
LL: With publication, I always hope I entertain at least a few readers in the same way my favorite authors have entertained me.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
LL: I’d go for variety within the broad crime fiction category, inviting an author who makes me laugh, a mystery or thriller writer, someone who pens books in a historical era I find fascinating, and a romantic suspense author. (I have lots of candidates in each category!)
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
LL: WINTER WITNESS by fellow Level Best Books author Tina deBellegarde.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
LL: Swimming, tennis, gardening, long walks with my husband, and, of course, reading.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
LL: Cheese (multiple kinds), chocolate (in some form), lemonade, and in-season fruit.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
LL: Yes, I have a three-book contract with Level Best Books for my HOA Mystery Series.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
LL: Commiserating and sharing laughs with the many author friends I’ve made and hearing from readers who have enjoyed one of my books.
With Neighbors Like These
by Linda Lovely
July 12 - August 6, 2021 Tour
He championed shooting deer inside the HOA’s nature sanctuary. Now his corpse is posed curbside, cradling a trophy deer head. The theatrical murder panics residents, and Ted Welch asks Kylee Kane, retired Coast Guard investigator, to help his HOA management firm calm fears. Kylee agrees. Her own mother is getting death threats over her crusade to protect the deer.
HOA=DOA TERROR REIGNS…
When a belligerent owner in another HOA is murdered, terror reigns. The Sheriff’s Department blames Ted for letting HOA feuds spiral into homicide. Kylee discovers links between the victims and suspects a recently-pardoned general is next. Authorities and the arrogant general dismiss her warning. Can she foil the third act in the crafty killer’s death-as-theater game or will she be the next corpse on display?
Praise for With Neighbors Like These:
"Linda Lovely delivers another twisty mystery with the perfect mix of wry humor and quirky characters. Anyone looking for a fun, fast page-turner, here it is!"
--Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“HOA communities seem deceptively safe, but the mix of gossip and politics in rule-bound groups can be a fertile breeding ground for murder. For the gutsy Kylee Kane, a fact-finding gig in South Carolina’s Lowcountry turns increasingly complex and dangerous. With Neighbors Like These offers a distinctive setting, a tenacious female sleuth and captivating suspense.”
--Katherine Ramsland, bestselling author of How to Catch a Killer
"Low Country murder, intrigue, and even a little romance abound in With Neighbors Like These. Kylee Kane is a welcome addition to the genre, and author Linda Lovely knows how to stir the pot with crackling dialogue and a tidy little mystery. Highly recommended!"
--Richard Helms, Derringer and Thriller Awards winning author of Brittle Karma
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: July 13th 2021
Number of Pages: 326
Series: HOA Mystery Series, Book 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
A journalism major in college, Linda Lovely has spent most of her career working in PR and advertising—an early introduction to penning fiction. With Neighbors Like These is Lovely’s ninth mystery/suspense novel. Whether she’s writing cozy mysteries, historical suspense or contemporary thrillers, her novels share one common element—smart, independent heroines. Humor and romance also sneak into every manuscript. Her work has earned nominations for a number of prestigious awards, ranging from RWA’s Golden Heart for Romantic Suspense to Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion for Best Cozy Mystery. A long-time member of Sisters in Crime and former chapter president, Lovely also belongs to International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For many years, she helped organize the Writers’ Police Academy. She lives on a lake in Upstate South Carolina with her husband, and enjoys swimming, tennis, gardening, long walks, and, of course, reading.
Catch Up With Our Author:
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Linda Lovely. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs July 12 through August 8, 2021. Void where prohibited.