Friday, January 6, 2023

Moving is Murder - An Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm pleased to welcome Nellie H. Steele back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Nellie writes the Middle Age is Murder Mystery series, among others. MOVING IS MURDER is her most recent release.

Kathy: You start a new series with MOVING IS MURDER. Was there a specific inspiration for the Middle Age is Murder Mystery series?

NHS: Last year during my Christmas movie marathon, I watched A Castle for Christmas. A middle-aged Brooke Shields completely changes her life by moving to Scotland and finding love. I really enjoyed the story and loved the premise that life doesn’t “end” after 50!

It inspired me to write two series (Middle Age is Murder being one of them) with middle-aged sleuths who can show us that there’s plenty of life left to live and even some surprises in store still!

Kathy: Ellie Byrne finds herself drowning in debt after her cheating husband runs off with another woman-and the balance of her bank account, but her elderly aunt's death provides a chance at a new life. Have you ever started over?

NHS: I think we all start over in one way or another. Mine has never been as dramatic as Ellie’s (at least not thus far!), but ten years ago, I could never have predicted that I’d be a mystery writer with twenty books (and more to come!) on the market. I felt pretty settled in my career and life and didn’t see any surprises coming. But life has a way of changing when you least expect it. On a cold January day, I started jotting down ideas for my first published work, completed a creative writing certificate, and never looked back.

I’ve never had anything as bad as Ellie’s situation, but I’ve definitely “started over” on a new path!

Kathy: Ellie inherits a home along with her aunt's beloved pets, Cleo, a sassy cat, and a lovable dog named Lola. Were they based on animals you know or are they completely fictional?

NHS: Yes! Cleo is based off of one of my cats (real name Cassandra) and Lola is based off of my miniature bulldog, Lola. I changed Cassandra’s name since I’ve got another series with a Cassie (Cassandra) as a main character, but otherwise, she’s exactly what I’d expect if Cassandra could speak. Same with Lola!

Kathy: Ellie considers reopening her aunts B&B. Have you ever had the desire to be an innkeeper?

NHS: Yes! I’d love to run a big B&B (in theory). I have a sneaking suspicion my experience would be far less simple than the Hallmark-y idea I’ve got floating around in my head, but I think it could be a fun and fulfilling gig (though I’m certain it’s hard work, too!).

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? 

NHS: Pantser! I may have a loose outline, but for the most part, the story tells itself to me not the other way around. And sometimes my very loose outline collapses completely once the characters get a hold of the story. I’ve had characters meant to die who are still living, ex-boyfriends return that weren’t expected, and even surprise couples!

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?

NHS: I like interacting with readers. I have a mystery readers’ group on Facebook and its tremendous fun to talk about the books with readers who enjoy them. The worst part for me is trying to pitch my books to people. I hate trying to make the hard sell to people!

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

NHS: I’ve got a lot planned for 2023! You can check out all my new releases in my readers’ group or by joining my newsletter. Here are a few coming up that may appeal based on your interest in Moving is Murder:

SPIRITS, TALES & A BODY BY THE BALES – Book 2 in the Lily & Cassie by the Sea Cozy Mysteries. Check out mother/daughter duo Lily & Cassie as they continue to settle into their new town and discover its secrets…including a dead body! – Coming April 4, 2023

Book 2 will be available in the Pearl Party Cozy Mystery series in early November and Book 2 will be available in the Middle Age is Murder series Christmas 2023! 



MOVING IS MURDER by Nellie H. Steele
The First Middle Age is Murder Mystery
Ellie Byrne's life is in shambles. Her husband has left her for another woman, emptying their bank account beforehand. She's broke, living in a house she doesn't like and can't afford with neighbors who still think her cheating husband is the bees knees. With her husband now asking for a divorce, as well as half of the house, Ellie gets a glimmer of hope when she learns she's inherited her aunt's house; the condition being she has to live in the home and care for her aunt's beloved pets. With nothing keeping her in Winwick, Ellie moves to Salem Falls only to discover her aunt was murdered and now she's being threatened. Not one to be intimidated, Ellie vows to find the killer-but with so many suspects, will the killer find her first?

I truly enjoyed my first foray into the Middle Age is Murder series. For all the bad that life has recently thrown at Ellie, she has determination, gumption, and a great attitude. I love the Salem Falls setting, despite a lot of sketchy citizens and one nasty killer. As much as I admire Ellie, my favorite characters are Cleo and Lola, especially the sassy Cleo. I also enjoyed how Ellie uncovered the paranormal aspect to the series...and how that helps her solve the mystery. 

One issue I had with this book has to do with word choices. For some reason almost all of the characters waddled! They didn't walk, glide, or move - they waddled. They aren't obese or have knee issues, nor are they penguins, so why are they all waddling? I see a lot of possibilities with this series as Ellie turns her new home back into a B&B and as she speaks to the animals. I look forward to seeing what happens next-and once the B&B is up and running I can't wait to hear Cleo's thoughts about the guests!

Strong, independent characters in an intricately plotted puzzle make MOVING IS MURDER a solid start to a new series.


 Moving is Murder: A Salem Falls B&B Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Middle Age is Murder Cozy Mysteries) by Nellie H. Steele

About Moving is Murder

Moving is Murder: A Salem Falls B&B Paranormal Cozy Mystery (Middle Age is Murder Cozy Mysteries)
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Fictional town of Salem Falls
Independently Published (December 25, 2022)
Print length: ‎ 317 pages

A new hometown. A murdered aunt. Mysterious talking animals. Divorce just turned interesting.

Ellie Byrne’s pending divorce from her cheating husband threatens to leave her broke and homeless. But when she inherits a bed and breakfast in the unique town of Salem Falls, her prayers may be answered.

That is, until she finds out her aunt didn’t just die on the property, she was murdered. And shortly after Ellie arrives, she finds herself the target of threatening messages and hostile attitudes from almost everyone in town. And after someone chucks a rock through her window, she begins to fear for her life.

Can Ellie discover which one of them offed her aunt? Or will the bed and breakfast she’d hoped would provide a fresh start put her in the grave?

If you love middle-aged heroines, talking pets, and quirky small town settings, you’ll love book 1 in this charming paranormal women’s fiction cozy mystery series.

About Nellie H. Steele


Award-winning author Nellie H. Steele writes in as many genres as she reads. Addicted to books since she could read, Nellie escaped to fictional worlds like the ones created by Carolyn Keene or Victoria Holt long before she decided to put pen to paper and create her own realities. When she’s not spinning a cozy mystery tale, building a new realm in a contemporary fantasy, or writing another action-adventure car chase, you can find her shuffling through her Noah’s Ark of rescue animals or enjoying a hot cuppa (that’s tea for most Americans.)  

Author Links: Check out all Nellie's offers at or at her blog, Nellie’s Book Nook, available at!






Purchase Link - Amazon 

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