Friday, September 30, 2022

The Turncoat's Widow - A Review


The First Revolutionary War Mystery 

The widow Becca Parcell doesn't care one whit for politics, she's too busy trying to maintain her farm. But the villagers suddenly condemn her a loyalist, saying she sold out her husband who died aboard a British prison ship and try to oust her from her home. The truth of the matter is that Phillip Parcell was a British spy who wore out his welcome with the loyalists. A spy who had a list of names. Now General Washington has paired Becca with Daniel Alloway, the prisoner who was with her husband when he died, and tasked them with finding the list. In order to keep her farm Becca will travel to New York City to determine who is the spy amongst the so called patriots of Morristown.

THE TURNCOAT'S WIDOW introduces us to Becca Parcell and Daniel Alloway, both flawed characters with heart. Though set during the Revolutionary War, these characters are so real that they step out of the pages and twenty-first century readers can easily relate to them. Both have incredible backstory and dimension. The book is populated with a variety of characters, from villains who make you cringe, people you just don't trust, and true historical characters. Each bringing a vibrancy to the book. While a mystery, it is a story of its people. I appreciate the variety of relationships, from family and friends to budding romance. Even the relationship of citizens to the country, be they patriots or loyalists. We get to see rugged determination, independence, and even some very funny moments.

The mystery was complex with twists and turns and a surprise or two. I loved how the historical detail gave emphasis to both the mystery and the characters. Richly drawn details enhance the atmosphere, making me feel I was actually with Becca.

THE TURNCOAT'S WIDOW is a gripping historical mystery. I was thoroughly engrossed by the story and the characters making this first Revolutionary War Mystery a stellar debut.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading The Turncoat's Widow by Mally Becker. This book is the first in the Revolutionary War Mystery series.

The widow Becca Parcell doesn't care one whit for politics, she's too busy trying to maintain her farm. But the villagers suddenly condemn her a loyalist, saying she sold out her husband who died aboard a British prison ship and try to oust her from her home. The truth of the matter is that Phillip Parcell was a British spy who wore out his welcome with the loyalists. A spy who had a list of names. Now General Washington has paired Becca with Daniel Alloway, the prisoner who was with her husband when he died, and tasked them with finding the list. In order to keep her farm Becca will travel to New York City to determine who is the spy amongst the so called patriots of Morristown.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Oscar, The Apprehensive Apparition - A Review


By H. R. Sinclair

Oscar is a scardy ghost. Consequently, when he receives a note instructing him to go to the old cemetery to pick up a package he has qualms. Especially since the note is smudged and torn so he has no idea who sent it. Full of misgivings he nonetheless ventures out into the night. Will Oscar successfully retrieve his package, or will he be eaten by monsters instead?! 

OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION is a delightful tale about facing your fears, helping others, and friendship. Lovely illustrations highlight the story and characters. While this book is a children's book appropriate for ages 5-8, I say it's appropriate for everyone! I loved this book and I'm well past that age group. Very well past. One reason for this multi-age success is that the author doesn't talk down to the reader. Apprehensive and apparition may not be words children are familiar with, but they are explained and now kids have a richer vocabulary. The same is true with other words in the book. It educates without the reader knowing it and makes reading even more enjoyable for adults.

OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION is a charming story that children and adults can enjoy no matter the season, though it makes a super Halloween treat!


I'm happy to be a stop on  H. R. Sinclair's tour with MC Book Tours featuring her book, OSCAR, THE APPREHENSIVE APPARITION, to be released the first week of October. 

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition
By H. R. Sinclair
Chapter Book for Ages 5-8

Oscar the ghost dwells happily in his cozy cottage, where he hides from creatures that lurk in the dark. After a mysterious message arrives, he must find the courage to go out and discover what's waiting for him. Can he do it? Or will the monsters get him?


This is a Chapter Book for ages 5 through 8 but is a delight to read no matter your age. If you’ve ever enjoyed Casper, then you’ll be glad you got to know Oscar.

*Independently published
*ISBN: 9798848409956
*Dimensions: 5x8
*42 pages, black and white illustrations
*eBook: 3.99
*Print book: 6.99
*Release date: Oct 3

Oscar, the Apprehensive Apparition is available to purchase at the following links:






Meet The Author: H. R. Sinclair 

H.R. Sinclair is a left-handed hermit prepping for the squirrel apocalypse. She writes fantastical stories and visits cemeteries for inspiration.

For more about the author and her work, connect with her on the following sites:








Thanks for stopping by today during H. R. and Oscar’s visit. Are you a fan of friendly ghosts like Casper and Oscar?

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Summer Camp Culprit - A Spotlight

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on Summer Camp Culprit by C. K. Fyfe. 


 Summer Camp Culprit: A Short Romantic Cozy Mystery by C.K. Fyfe

About Summer Camp Culprit

Summer Camp Culprit: A Short Romantic Cozy Mystery
Cozy Mystery
Setting - Michigan
Independently Published (May 11, 2022)
Print length: ‎ 66 pages

Camp Starfall is closing. But that doesn’t mean the past is going with it.

Despite her misgivings, Lindsey returns to the campground she last left as a broken-hearted teen. She’s determined to spend Camp Starfall’s farewell weekend focusing on the good memories she has of her time as a camper. But fate has other plans.

Lindsey’s teenage sweetheart Tyler shows up, stirring up feelings in her that had long lain dormant. Too bad she doesn’t have time to dwell on him. Someone is breaking into the cabins, and if she doesn’t find the culprit, more than her heart will be at stake.

About C.K. Fyfe

C.K. Fyfe has always enjoyed a good mystery. Fyfe's childhood love of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys led to a grown-up love of writing cozy mysteries with quirky, funny, and kindhearted characters. Fyfe lives in "The Wolverine State." Much like wolverines, Fyfe's villains have vicious dispositions, but the clever sleuths know how to tame their foes' tempers.

Author Links




Friday, September 23, 2022

Deadly Traditions - A Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

I'm happy to allow MayBell Ferth to take over Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find MayBell in the pages of "Killing the Carol" by Sam Cheever. This is just one of the stories found in DEADLY TRADITIONS: A COZY MYSTERY CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY.

My name is MayBell Ferth, and the cute little ball of fluff and attitude sitting on my lap is Shakespeare… Shakes for short. Shakes is a Pomeranian, a.k.a. the Pomeranian Devil. He’s also my best friend and my accomplice in crime-fighting and other things.

I come from a family of cops. My dad, the Lieutenant, is a fearsome creature with a soft spot for Shakes that he tries to hide. My brother Argh is a detective. Argh got his nickname as a kid when he had to wear an eyepatch due to reoccurring eye infections. Argh and I have an older brother and sister who are also cops.

I’m pretty sure that the very first Ferth to step off a ship onto terra firma in the New World was a cop of some sort. The Ferths have worn the impetus for protecting and serving as a badge of honor through countless generations.

Until me.

I’m not a cop. And, I’ll bet you an entire box of caramel-filled chocolates that you’ve never heard of my job before.

I started out as a Community Theatre actor. I gave that gig up because I couldn’t take the diva drama. I know, irony. But in my current career I’m a Professional Mourner. Yep, that’s a real thing. I actually get paid to cry at funerals and play whatever role the client wishes me to play. Bereaved girlfriend, gloating college rival, conniving ex-partner. I’ve played them all.

I love my job, even though it’s gotten me into a few “situations” since I started. One time, I was targeted by a killer while playing a grieving girlfriend and nearly got myself gacked before my PI boyfriend and I managed to stop the murderer.

Another time, an old rival of mine was killed and I was blamed for her death. It took some tricky maneuvering casket-side to suss that one out.

But the situation I’m currently in isn’t due to my Professional Mourning job. I signed up for Caroling in the Square, an event my theatre group holds every year around the holidays to entertain and promote our productions. From my perspective, there was only one way that was going to end.

Badly. Very badly.

Full disclosure, my singing voice sounds like a cross between a preschool brass band and cats mating in an alley. I didn’t want to join the event, but I succumbed to pressure from the group. Although I was pretty sure my singing would be the thing that ruined everybody’s Christmas, I hadn’t counted on the corpse in the alley.

Carol Ling wasn’t just the unlucky owner of a terrible name. She’d apparently also done something to annoy a killer. She’d met a terrible end in a stinky, garbage-infused alleyway. Long story short, it would be up to me, my dog, and my PI boyfriend to find her killer.

Admittedly, my police detective brother, Argh, was on the case. But I won’t lie. I plan to stick my nose into his investigation. I just can’t seem to help myself.

I’ll take my licks from my bossy older brother. We’ll all need to work together to figure out who killed the woman named after a fun Christmas activity. With the help of a certain adorable Pom, potential assistance from my monosyllabic dread-headed neighbor who lives in a medically-approved cannabis cloud, and the invaluable expertise of my PI boyfriend, Eddie, I fully intend to catch a killer.

I might not be a cop like the rest of my family, but I’ve got more detective than diva coursing through my veins.

Detective DNA wins out every time.


USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes mystery and suspense, creating stories that draw you in and keep you eagerly turning pages. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 100+ books.




Christmas cookie contests, kidnapped Santas, gingerbread crises, and more await you in the stories of this new Christmas themed anthology. A professional mourner, retired opera singer, and wedding planner are just a few of the careers from which our protagonists hail and locations are just as varied including a retirement community in Minnesota and a yacht on the North Carolina coast.

I really enjoyed the stories, each of which is a quick read, easily finished before bed...or on a lunch break. I wasn't familiar with many of the authors, but I'll definitely be looking some up! Most of the stories seem to be inhabited by characters from full length books in mystery series. Being unfamiliar with the background wasn't confusing and I didn't have a problem being thrown into their world, though some authors made it easier than others. I'm sure readers who follow the series will appreciate these stories even more. 
DEADLY TRADITIONS: A COZY MYSTERY CHRISTMAS ANTHOLOGY is filled with fun, quick reads to get you into the holiday spirit.


 Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology by Justine Maxwell, Gayle Leeson, Estelle Richards, Erin Scoggins, Sage So, Dianne Ascroft, Ellie Ballard, Melicity Pope, Mollie Cox Bryan, and Sam Cheever

About Deadly Traditions

Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology
Cozy Mysteries
Grace Abraham Publishing (September 27, 2022)

Have yourself a DEADLY little Christmas.

Celebrate the holidays with mistletoe, mayhem, and murder. Join your favorite authors as they cozy up by the fire with twelve festive short mysteries that feature treasured holiday traditions. Serve up a slice of fatal fruitcake and deck the halls with danger, because the holiday season has never been so much fun.

This original collection is available for a limited time only, so grab your copy today.

Includes: A Pickle in a Pear Tree by Erin Scoggins Mistletoe and Murder by Dianne Ascroft O Deadly Night by Estelle Richards Larceny and Gingerbread Lattes by Justine Maxwell Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas by Gayle Leeson

About the Authors

About Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee. She is currently writing the Kinsey Falls chick-lit/women's fiction series, the Down South Cafe cozy mystery series, and the Ghostly Fashionista cozy mystery series. Her book KILLER WEDDING CAKE won the Bronze Medal in the 20th Anniversary IPPY Awards. Gayle lives in Southwest Virginia with her family and enjoys hearing from readers.

About Mollie Cox Bryan

Mollie Cox Bryan writes cozy mysteries with edge. She's the author of several bestselling mystery series, also writing under the pen name Maggie Blackburn. Her books have been selected as finalists for an Agatha Award and a Daphne du Maurier Award and as a Top 10 Beach Reads by Woman's World. She has also been short-listed for the Virginia Library People's Choice Award. She's also penned a historical fiction: MEMORY OF LIGHT: AN AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG. She's the mother of two nearly perfect daughters, each pursuing careers in music.

About Erin Scoggins

USA Today Bestselling Author Erin Scoggins is a long-time Southerner with a fondness for offbeat humor and fresh fried chicken. After fifteen years in marketing with a Fortune 500 company, she traded her MBA for fictional crime scenes and feisty small-town families. She writes fun, flirty mysteries that are celebrations of food, family, and the killer South.

Visit her at for book news and shenanigans.

About Estelle Richards

Thursday, September 22, 2022

What Not to Wear to a Graveyard - A Book Blast!

What Not to Wear to a Graveyard (A Resale Boutique Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder


About What Not to Wear to a Graveyard

What Not to Wear to a Graveyard (A Resale Boutique Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
A Resale Boutique Mystery Novella
Lyrical Press (September 8, 2020)
Print length: ‎ 97 pages

After trading her Manhattan digs for her upstate hometown, fashionista Kelly Quinn has big plans for her grandmother’s consignment shop. But this All Hallow’s Eve someone is already dressed to kill . . .

A socialite’s missing dog has made front page news in Lucky Cove—complete with a hefty reward. But between renovating the consignment shop, planning her costume for a 1970s themed Halloween party, and scouting a location for a fashion shoot, Kelly doesn’t have time to search. Yet a visit to the local colonial-era cemetery—ideal for the moody atmosphere she’s after—soon turns up the precious pooch. Kelly’s looking forward to collecting the check—until she makes a gruesome discovery in an abandoned farmhouse: The dog’s owner, stabbed through the heart.

Kelly can’t help wondering why Constance Lane was traipsing around the farmhouse in stilettos. But as Kelly gets decked out in a vintage disco caftan, that isn’t the only fashion misstatement spooking her. Hidden in the dead woman’s past is a secret that could be the motive for the murder. And as the Halloween party gets started, even a menacing clown and a threatening bearded lady can’t keep Kelly from trick or treating for the truth—even if it means her last dance . . .

About Debra Sennefelder


Debra Sennefelder is the acclaimed author of the Food Blogger Mysteries, the Resale Boutique Mystery Series and the upcoming Cookie Shop Mystery series. An avid reader who reads across a range of genres, mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018.When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzu, Connie.  

Author Links:  







Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo -

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Deadly Traditions: A Cozy Mystery Christmas Anthology by Justine Maxwell et al.

It may not even officially be autumn yet, but this anthology is getting me in the Christmas spirit. The book is filled with short mysteries by several authors who specialize in cozies. Set in a variety of locales, most seem to be inhabited by characters from full length books in mystery series. I've been able to acclimate quickly even though I'm unfamiliar with the characters, although some authors make it easier than others.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Deadly Rescue - A Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

I'm pleased to allow Olivia Redmond to take over Cozy Up With Kathy today. You can find Livvy on the pages of the Deadly Series by Kate Parker. DEADLY RESCUE is the ninth book in the series and is being released today!

So far, in the early days of World War II, Britain’s spymaster, Sir Malcolm Fremantle, has used me as a part-time agent. When he sent me to Denmark ahead of the German invasion, he had a single goal for me to achieve. Get a Nobel Prize winning chemist and his papers on his research to Britain.However, I had two goals. Sir Malcolm’s of course, but there was a second one. The chemist’s wife was a good friend of my long dead mother. My father, being a stiff upper lip Victorian, never talked about my mother, even when I asked questions. I was six when she died, and my memories had faded with time. 

Here was someone who knew her, and knew her well, who was willing to talk to me about her. Willing to tell me what she was like besides the warm, caring mother I remembered. I hoped to learn more about my mother while visiting with them and then traveling back to England.

Fortunately, my mother’s friend spoke fluent English, since I knew no Danish and would never be able to pick it up in a single weekend among Danish speakers talking at their usual speed and with their individual accents and slang. Not speaking Danish was a handicap for both of my reasons for being in Copenhagen that weekend, but my partner on this mission for Sir Malcolm was a Danish-British man named Mike Christiansen who spoke both languages fluently and could translate for me.

Unfortunately, Christiansen had studied chemistry under Dr. Jørgensen at his institute, knew several people there, and didn’t seem to trust me or find me very bright. I found I didn’t trust him either. I promised myself the next time I went on a mission for Sir Malcolm, if I ever did, I would make certain I had enough time to study the geography and vocabulary of where I was going.

One thing I could understand was that the Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Jørgensen, was working on a synthetic rubber that didn’t require petroleum for its basis. Petroleum was nearly as difficult to obtain as natural rubber, with U-boats bringing down shipping every day. This chemist’s experiments showed promise in using everyday ingredients to create synthetic rubber. That told me how important Dr. Jørgensen, and his research, were to Britain and why Sir Malcolm sent the two of us over to escort him back to England with us.

But the chemist wanted his wife to accompany him, and I wanted her to, also. She kept telling me how much fun my mother was, and that was wonderful to hear. She also had an enlarged photo taken of the two of them from before I was born. Looking at it brought back my memories of what my mother looked like, smiling, genuinely happy, loving life. It reminded me of what we’d all lost when influenza took her away from us.

I was beginning to understand why my father couldn’t bring himself to talk about her.


Deadly Rescue, the ninth book in the Deadly Series by USA Today bestselling author Kate Parker, is on sale in ebook and paperback at all the usual online retailers. 



DEADLY RESCUE by Kate Parker
The Ninth Deadly Mystery
As the war intensifies, Olivia Redmond is called into service once again. She has to go to Denmark to persuade a Nobel winning chemist, his wife, and their recalcitrant daughter to come to England before the Nazis invade. Despite her desire to refuse this mission, there's an unexpected benefit. The chemist's wife happened to be a good friend of Olivia's mother, a mother she barely remembers. An opportunity to learn more about her mother has Olivia rushing to Denmark. Knowing nothing of the geography or language she'll have to rely on her partner for this mission, a man not so keen on her assistance. Once at the institute in Denmark, they find a chemist ambivalent about leaving, his stubborn wife, and a nasty willful daughter, along with a variety of students and servants. They only have a weekend to complete their mission, but when murder strikes the Danish police intend to keep them until the killer is found. Now Olivia will have to solve the murder or wind up trapped behind enemy lines.

As the war intensifies I find the characters do too. In this ninth Deadly Mystery the war has truly begun, and the new characters are, for the most part, unpleasant. It's as if the stark reality and upcoming harshness of the war is foreshadowed in the characters themselves. Even Livvy's partner for this mission, isn't exactly a ray of sunshine. Add the absence of her husband and the fact that her London friends aren't here, and it makes things even bleaker. What makes it even more poignant is that there was a returning character I was happy to see, Oberst Wilhelm Bernhard. Poignant because he is a German officer and I fear things are not going well for him. 

In addition to the darker ambiance there's also a very fine mystery. Subtle clues and misdirection make for an intriguing cerebral puzzle with the added excitement of a deadline. A new country and historical detail add interest and I found myself reading until my bathwater was cold. It was so late I almost missed my PBS mystery preparations!

DEADLY RESCUE is a story of determination, ego, and grit. A fascinating look at lesser known parts of WWII added to my enjoyment of this stellar series. I eagerly await its next installment.


Deadly Rescue: A World War II Mystery (Deadly Series) by Kate Parker

About Dark Rescue

Deadly Rescue: A World War II Mystery (Deadly Series)
Historical Cozy Mystery 9th in Series
JDP Press (September 20, 2022)
Number of Pages ~300

As the Phony War morphs into the Blitzkrieg, two British intelligence officers risk getting trapped behind enemy lines in the ninth Deadly mystery from USA Today Bestselling author Kate Parker

April, 1940. Hitler is invading Denmark on Tuesday. Olivia Redmond has only a weekend to bring a Nobel Prize winning chemist and his war-altering research to Britain. The scientist and his wife want to leave, but their troublesome daughter will do anything to stop her parents from departing.

When the daughter’s German fiancé is murdered, the police refuse to let anyone depart until they find the killer. If Olivia wants to escape Denmark with the chemist and his breakthroughs, she will have to unmask the killer before the Nazis stop her forever.

Deadly Rescue, book nine of the Deadly Series, is for fans of World War II era spy thrillers and classical cozy mysteries, of intrepid lady sleuths with determination and smarts. No explicit cursing, violence, or sex.

About Kate Parker


Since she was unable to build a time machine in her backyard, Kate Parker immerses herself in research and then creates the world that lives inside each book that she writes. Her favorite place is London and her time travel destination is anywhere from the late Victorian era through World War II. Since she lives in the Carolinas with her daughter and a 95-pound puppy, the practical side of her is thankful for air conditioning and all the modern comforts of life. Comforts she will take with her if she ever figures out how to build her time machine.  

Author Links

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Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Five Moves of Doom - A Review


The Third "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery 

PI and former wrestling champion "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead is called in to the world of mixed martial arts to investigate the theft of a prized UFC Championship belt. His investigation leads him to a bad tempered bodybuilder, an old friend, baby goats, and a very dangerous man. Just when he thinks he has come to a satisfactory conclusion, things take an abrupt turn...and not for the better.

The third "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery has so many twists and turns you'd think you're in the midst of a wrestling match yourself! While there are plenty of laughs, the story soon becomes quite serious. Jed was overconfident, thinking he was all that. He wasn't ready to be taken down. He was. This is a tale of facing your own limitations and how you deal with losing. Will you fight your way out or give up? Ultimately you will change. And after the shocking ending, Jed will be forever changed.

FIVE MOVES OF DOOM is a series of mind games, with Jed facing his most dangerous opponent yet-his own mind. I loved the cerebral aspect of this book and how the person I thought was going to be the big baddie wasn't. Instead a new depraved character emerged. Lines are crossed. Fates are sealed.

Compelling, engrossing, thought provoking, yet still humorous, FIVE MOVES OF DOOM is a brilliant look at what happens when you reach rock bottom. Grab a banana milkshake and be prepared for the ride of a lifetime.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Vampires and Villains - A Review


VAMPIRES AND VILLAINS by Elizabeth Pantley
The Second Magical Mystery Book Club
As the book club prepares to choose their next selection they are joined by a new member. Million is an 82 year old crotchety man who gives Zell a run for her money. After some deliberation the group decides to pick a cozy mystery set on a Hawaiian cruise. Suddenly whisked aboard, they are thrilled by all the amenities the ship offers. However, they soon discover a little detail they missed by not reading the book's blurb in its entirety. Million's new cruise ship friend happens to be a vampire. Yes, they are in a paranormal mystery filled with vampires. When they stumble upon a body drained of blood, it seems clear that one of the vampires on board is a murderer. When security looks at their new friend as the main suspect the gang work doubly hard to prove his innocence and find the killer, all while enjoying the excursions and delectable meals on board.

VAMPIRES AND VILLAINS is a delight. The irascible Million is a welcome addition to a very unique cast of characters. Gruff and grouchy he is also loyal, loveable, and fun. He fits right in to this diverse group of people that are becoming a family. The book inside the book characters are fun too, from the suave Vincent, flirtatious Baptiste, to the jealous Liliana, and skeevy Magnus.

I've never been on a cruise, though I did watch the Love Boat as a kid, so I loved going on one vicariously. I enjoyed reading about the amenities and going on the excursions. I want to go to a tropical fruit farm! These extras didn't detract from the actual mystery either. Clues and red herrings were found everywhere-as Zell said, you can enjoy both the mystery and the fun.

VAMPIRES AND VILLAINS is an enchanting mystery that embraces its uniquely diverse characters in a fun paranormal plot. Both humorous and heartwarming it is a delightful addition to this great new series. I can't wait to discover what happens next!


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Five Moves of Doom by A. J. Devlin. This book is the third in the "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery series and will release tomorrow!

PI and former wrestling champion "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead is called in to the world of mixed martial arts to investigate the theft of a prized UFC Championship belt. His investigation leads him to a bad tempered bodybuilder, an old friend, baby goats, and a very dangerous man. Just when he thinks he has come to a satisfactory conclusion, things take an abrupt turn...and not for the better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Five Moves of Doom - An Interview

I'm so happy to welcome A. J. Devlin back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. A. J. writes the "Hammerhead" Jed Mystery series. FIVE MOVES OF DOOM is the third book in the series and will be released September 15, 2022. Be sure to check out my review which will go live on Sunday, September 18, 2022.

KATHY: In FIVE MOVES OF DOOM "Hammerhead" Jed gets involved with the Mixed Martial Arts community. Do you enjoy watching mixed martial arts? 

AJ: I do! I appreciate the different styles of combat for sure, especially when you have competitors who have different strengths and weaknesses, such as striking and takedowns. And as a wrestling fan I certainly enjoy the importance of grappling to the sport.

KATHY: Years ago I studied Tukong Moosul. Have you ever studied martial arts?

AJ: Tukong Moosul! That’s awesome. I saw a showcase years ago when I traveled to South Korea. I’m particularly intrigued by fighting styles or systems like that or Israeli Krav Maga that not only blend various styles but also reflect a country’s culture and heritage.

Yes, I have some experience in martial arts. I spent my teenage years freestyle wrestling in high school and summer camps as well as trying my hand at Judo. And when I was in university I studied Aikido.

KATHY: Jed also gets involved with yoga in his third outing? I have always wanted to do goat yoga, but haven't, although I did take some classes sans goats. Do you practice yoga?

AJ: Jed does encounter yoga enthusiasts during his investigation in FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. I got into hybrid yoga a few years back — mainly DDP Yoga, which was created by professional wrestling legend and WWE Hall Of Famer Diamond Dallas Page. Not to knock the spiritual side of the discipline, but it wasn’t really for me, which is why I appreciated the emphasis on the building of functional strength in DDP Yoga. But the discovery of hybrid yoga opened a doorway to other kinds I wasn’t even aware of, including goat yoga, which, I think, is really something else. It was definitely fun to mine for humour as Jed tends to have a way of being drawn into environments that are quirky and offbeat while working his cases.

KATHY: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

AJ: Yes, for sure. After having Jed go up against some tough guy heavies in his debut in COBRA CLUTCH, and then having to switch gears to an antagonist who was less physically imposing and more cerebral in ROLLING THUNDER, I thought it would be interesting if he encountered forces that had both qualities. I also really wanted to take Jed — as a pro-wrestler PI who is used to being the biggest and toughest guy in the room — and strip that away, forcing him to rely more on his wits and mental toughness this time around.

KATHY: Are you able to share any future plans for "Hammerhead" Jed Ounstead?
AJ: I certainly have more adventures in mind for the character, but with a trilogy of stories under my belt it also feels like a good time to explore other ideas I have like a spin-off story or a standalone novel.

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?

AJ: Before FIVE MOVES OF DOOM I would have categorized myself as a strict plotter. But the challenges of pivoting to an all virtual promotion for ROLLING THUNDER and writing the latest book amidst other pandemic challenges definitely changed the routine I was used to. But it ended up being a great experience and I think having to make some adjustments on the fly in some ways brought the best out of me. I think it was also very helpful that many of the characters had become familiar over the past few years as opposed to crafting an all new set of dramatis personae.

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?

AJ: I do love the hustle! I think my favourite part of marketing my work is getting to do so again with returning characters, especially ones who were well received or readers seemed to enjoy. I believe for an ongoing crime series that the central mystery in each book — which is of course essential — serves as the vehicle for the narrative, but the best part is always catching up with the protagonist, as it's kind of like spending time with an old friend.

I don’t know if there’s a downside to marketing for me other than the fact that getting the opportunity to discuss my latest work reminds me of why I enjoy writing the likes of “Hammerhead” Jed and company, so as anxious as I may be to return to the page for the next adventure, some of that has to be put on hold in order to try and get the word out.

KATHY: Will you share any other upcoming books?

AJ: Yes, I’m looking forward to perhaps taking Jed away a bit from fringe sports and focusing more on the unique subcultures I feel with his pro-wrestling background and PI experience he is uniquely suited for in future novels. I also am very excited for Jed to get caught up in a mystery that requires him to travel from his home base of Vancouver, and am working on an idea that heavily features his cousin and sidekick Declan's past in his homeland of Ireland.

Thank you Kathy for having me back for another fun Q&A on COZY UP WITH KATHY!