I'm happy to welcome Jenny Kales back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Jenny writes the Callie's Kitchen Mystery series. SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI is the fifth book in the series and was released in October.
Kathy: In SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI Callie Costas finally gets to travel to Greece. Have you ever been?
JK: Believe or not, I have not been there! It's somewhere I would like to go and my husband was there several times in his younger days; he even lived there for awhile, so he has been a great resource in my research. Visiting Greece was a natural trajectory for the characters in my series and I had planned to send them there for awhile. Given all that has happened in the world lately, I thought that readers would enjoy an exotic escape. I know I did! It was a lot of fun to research the Greek Islands, and I have been told I captured the experience of visiting Greece. I hope readers enjoy the journey!
Kathy: Callie gets to meet a slew of family members, invited by Callie's father to celebrate his recent marriage. In 2019 I was fortunate enough to travel to Poland to meet family members I've never met before. Have you ever had that opportunity? If you had it, would you take it?
JK: How wonderful that you got to do that! Callie gets to reconnect with some relatives in the new book, in particular her feisty and funny Aunt Glkyeria, aka Sweetie, who appeared in the second book in my series, SPICED AND ICED, a Christmas-themed cozy. If I had the opportunity to meet up with long-lost family members in another country, I think it would be very interesting and I would do it. In fact, it sounds like it could be a good basis for a story....
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
JK: Yes, I was inspired by the islands of Milos and Paros, and the various characteristics of these Greek islands. I ended up creating a fictional island because I wanted creative license, but I definitely have some flavor of these specific places, such as parts of the landscape and even some of the tourist attractions.
Because Callie is of Greek descent, I always thought it would be fun to send her to Greece, especially because the atmosphere is so different than her hometown of Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. However, as she finds out in the story, there are many similarities to the small villages she visits and her small town life back home. You'll have to read the book to find out more!
Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Callie?
JK: I can share that there are both personal and professional changes coming for Callie. Her family and work life are being challenged in both good and bad ways. Big shakeups, shall we say. And of course, she is always sharpening her amateur sleuthing skills. That's all I can say for now!
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
JK: I feel that I fall in between. I always know the ending and who the killer is before starting a book. I write a complete but not overly detailed outline and I do know the plot before I begin. Along the way, characters may say and do things I didn't plan or expect, and I go with it if I feel it helps the story. Sometimes characters take you somewhere you didn't know you wanted to go, and that's exciting.
Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?
JK: My favorite part of marketing is connecting with readers and bloggers! It's rewarding to know that people are reading and enjoying your books and even trying the recipes from my series. I also really enjoy creating graphics for my posts on social media.
My least favorite part is that sometimes you don't quite know what will work, and there can be a lot of trial and error when you'd rather be writing. But in general, I enjoy the marketing aspect. I used to write marketing, ad copy, etc. so maybe that's why!
Slayed by Souvlaki (A Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery) by Jenny Kales
About Slayed by Souvlaki
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series
Independently published (October 30, 2021)
Paperback: 267 pages
Greek vacations can be murder! Recipes are included in this cozy mystery set in the Greek Islands.
Callie Costas can’t believe she is finally traveling to Greece with her significant other, Detective Ian Sands. However, this isn’t your average voyage: Callie’s father has invited a slew of colorful family members to his beautiful childhood village to celebrate his recent marriage. Callie is especially delighted to be reunited with her Greek “Aunt Sweetie” aka Glykeria.
The Costas family’s Greek getaway turns to Greek tragedy when murder turns up on the menu at the seaside restaurant of her father’s friend, Dimitrios. A restaurant employee has been killed and Dimitrios is a prime suspect.
With a hodge-podge group of tourists and villagers to round out the suspect list, can Callie help her father clear his friend’s name, before the killer skewers her?
About Jenny Kales
Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth, who lives in a scenic Wisconsin town with colorful characters -- and a high murder rate! Each book contains several delicious recipes, both Greek and American. Callie’s latest adventure, SLAYED BY SOUVLAKI is the 5th Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series and was released in October 2021.
Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to reading and British TV mysteries. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband and is the mom of two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier. She's hard at work on additional writing projects including more Callie's Kitchen Mysteries and a new series releasing in 2022.
- Purchase Links – Amazon
- Also available on Kindle Unlimited