featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

MEET DEBUT MYSTERY AUTHOR ALICE FITZPATRICK

The harbor in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales,
the inspiration for the Meredith Island setting.
Alice Fitzpatrick has contributed short stories to literary magazines and anthologies and has recently retired from teaching to devote herself to writing full-time. Secrets in the Water is the first book in the Meredith Island Mystery series inspired by her summers spent with her Welsh family in Pembrokeshire. Learn more about Alice and her writing at her website.

I Have Always Been a Writer

Like most authors, I’m sometimes asked, “When did you know you wanted to become a writer?” The truth is, it was never a conscious decision. I’ve always been a storyteller. It’s how I comprehend and interact with the world. While other people arrive late and offer vague references to problems with public transit, I delight in recounting every detail.

 

My love of stories came from escaping into the books I received for Christmas and my birthdays from my English grandmother. I suspect she hoped reading British literary and historical classics would keep me in touch with my birthplace. But she also sent me tales of girls preparing for careers in ballet, which was my passion for many years.

 

However, it wasn’t simply being a voracious reader that sparked my desire to write. In Ontario, there was a children’s safety campaign featuring Elmer the Safety Elephant, a cartoon elephant wearing a silly hat. Each year public school students competed for silver dollars by writing four-line poems on the theme of safety. I always won. That taught me there was money to be made from writing, even poorly rhyming poetry.

 

When I ran out of my favorite stories—Pippi Longstocking and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books—I continued their adventures by writing my own, my first attempt at writing a series.

 

At the tender age of twelve, I received my first rejection letter when I sent Carol Burnett a sketch I’d written, a satire on the ballet Swan Lake called “Swan Swamp”. I was politely told that Carol’s show couldn’t accept outside submissions. It would be the first of many rejections, but it’s still my favorite.

 

The next year, I completed my first novel, The Dying Swan, once again picking up on the theme of ballet. I never set out to write a novel; it was simply a short story that got out of hand. Lots of people write books, so I never regarded it as anything remarkable.

 

My first publication was in my last year of high school when one of my poems was chosen for a student anthology edited by Canadian poet George Bowering. Emboldened by my success, I submitted my poetry to every publishing company listed in the Yellow Pages, determined to become the youngest person to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Sadly, it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t a poet.

 

Once I entered university, academic writing demanded all my attention as well as the engagement of the restrained analytic rather than the spirited creative part of my brain. This continued for fifteen years as I completed three degrees. As a newly minted high school English teacher, I was now responsible for instructing the next generation how to write academically.

 

But I missed telling my stories. It was time to give my imagination free reign once more. In the 1990s, I published literary short fiction and attempted a novel about a group of young people whose friendship is based on their mutual admiration for Dylan Thomas. Because I’d spent many wonderful summers in Wales, it was begun as an homage to Wales’ most famous poet—not the best reason to write a novel. As a result, both the plot and its creator suffered from a lack of focus, and the book was abandoned. What I needed was a genre with a defined plot structure.

 

As a teenager, I’d immersed myself in my mother’s Agatha Christie novels. The quaint country villages, elegant stately homes, and exotic seaside hotels reminded me of the England I’d left behind when we’d immigrated to Canada. With each book, I took on the challenge of matching wits with Miss Christie, ever hopeful that this time I would identify the murderer. Like a jigsaw puzzle, every piece of a mystery has to fit perfectly, and I marvelled at the skill required to construct such intricate plots.

 

But when it came to writing these books myself, I was intimidated by the task of researching police procedure and forensic science on the off-chance my amateur sleuth crossed paths with a CID detective. However, my desire to write eventually overcame my fear of getting the details wrong.

 

So the Meredith Island Mysteries were born, a series featuring a retired English teacher amateur detective—with more than a passing resemblance to the author—eccentric characters, and a picturesque island setting reminiscent of my youth spent in a Welsh seaside town.

 

Secrets in the Water

A Meredith Island Mystery, Book 1

 

When Kate Galway was just three years old, her aunt Emma committed suicide. Now Kate has returned home to her childhood island home off the Welsh coast to bury her grandmother where she’s confronted with the islanders’ conviction that her aunt was murdered all those years ago. But it's when she learns that her grandmother died believing she was responsible for Emma’s death that Kate decides to track down a killer who has eluded detection for fifty years. Along the way, she must confront shameful secrets from her family’s past and her conflicted feelings about the place which was once her home.

 

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Monday, June 10, 2024

SORRY, KNOT SORRY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR


Today marks the start of the Great Escapes virtual book tour for Sorry, Knot Sorry, the 13th book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. Join me and my author at each of the participating sites for some fun posts and a chance to win a copy of the book by entering the Rafflecopter at each stop. The more sites you visit and enter, the greater your chance of winning one of copies author Lois Winston will be giving away at the end of the tour.

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 10 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

June 10 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 11 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – Jane Reads – AUTHOR GUEST POST  

June 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 14 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – CRAFT POST

June 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

June 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

June 18 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

June 20 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

June 20 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

June 21 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 22 – Boys’ Mom Reads! – AUTHOR GUEST POST

June 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

June 23 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

You can also find all the information on the Great Escapes Tour Page

Sorry, Knot Sorry

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 13

 

Magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack may finally be able to pay off the remaining debt she found herself saddled with when her duplicitous first husband dropped dead in a Las Vegas casino. But as Anastasia has discovered, nothing in her life is ever straightforward. Strings are always attached. Thanks to the success of an unauthorized true crime podcast, a television production company wants to option her life—warts and all—as a reluctant amateur sleuth. 

 

Is such exposure worth a clean financial slate? Anastasia isn’t sure, but at the same time, rumors are flying about layoffs at the office. Whether she wants national exposure or not, Anastasia may be forced to sign on the dotted line to keep from standing in the unemployment line. But the dead bodies keep coming, and they’re not in the script.

 

Craft tips included.

 

Buy Links

Amazon 

Kobo 

Nook 

Apple Books

Books2Read Universal Link to Other Sites 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

FROM MID-CENTURY MODERN TO PODCASTS TO AI, OH MY!

Today marks the release of Sorry, Knot Sorry, the thirteenth book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series. Lucky number thirteen for my author, not so lucky number thirteen for me because once again, author Lois Winston has wreaked havoc in my life with yet another dead body. This one, gunned down in front of my house. Right after the guy left my house! So, it’s not like I can shrug my shoulders and say there was no connection between the two of us.

Lois is a news junkie who likes to draw on current and newsworthy events when developing the plots for the books in the series about me. In Sorry, Knot Sorry she weaves together such disparate topics as podcasts, artificial intelligence, and the current trend for all things mid-century modern, including a nod to tie-dye and macramé. After all, this is a crafting cozy series.

 

Speaking of artificial intelligence, did you hear about my author’s experiment, using me as a guinea pig? When AI hit the news full force several months ago, worry began to mount among authors. Would they all become obsolete in the not-too-distant future? Lois decided to ask Chat GPT to create a novel for the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. She wanted to test just how intelligent this artificial intelligence is to see if her days as an author really were numbered.

 

Now keep in mind that you can find information about me, as well as the stories Lois has created about me, all over the Internet. A short synopsis of each book, along with the first chapter, are not only available on her website, but also on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Books-a-Million, Audible, and countless other e-tailers. You’d think with all that available information, Chat GPT would scan the Internet cosmos and come up with something that bore some resemblance to me, my family, and the world Lois has created for us.

 

Think again! The results were so off base that they were laughable. The not-so-intelligent artificial intelligence transformed Ralph, my African Grey parrot into my uncle. My mother’s Persian cat, Catherine the Great, morphed into my employee. Instead of working as the crafts editor at a women’s magazine, AI made me the owner of a knitting shop. Worst of all? There was absolutely nothing funny in any of the pages that AI had generated. Lois writes humorous amateur sleuth mysteries. I get through all she dumps on me by relying on my sense of humor. But apparently, this new technology lacks a funny bone and is both incapable of seeing humor or generating it.

 

This has turned out to be a good news/bad news situation. Good news for Lois because she now feels she can rest easier, knowing her career won’t be usurped by a bunch of algorithms anytime soon. Bad news for me, though, because Lois is already plotting how she can wreak more havoc in the life of this reluctant amateur sleuth for Book Fourteen. And you can be sure, there will be more dead bodies.

 

Sorry, Knot Sorry

An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 13

 

Magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack may finally be able to pay off the remaining debt she found herself saddled with when her duplicitous first husband dropped dead in a Las Vegas casino. But as Anastasia has discovered, nothing in her life is ever straightforward. Strings are always attached. Thanks to the success of an unauthorized true crime podcast, a television production company wants to option her life—warts and all—as a reluctant amateur sleuth. 

 

Is such exposure worth a clean financial slate? Anastasia isn’t sure, but at the same time, rumors are flying about layoffs at the office. Whether she wants national exposure or not, Anastasia may be forced to sign on the dotted line to keep from standing in the unemployment line. But the dead bodies keep coming, and they’re not in the script.

 

Craft tips included.

 

Buy Links

Amazon

Kobo

Nook

Apple Books

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

JUSTIN L. MURPHY ON COMBINING TWO DIFFERENT GENRES

photo from Pixabay

Justin L. Murphy is a self-published author of fiction and non-fiction. He’s also written 
The Original Night Stalker: Portrait of A Killer, and Joseph James DeAngelo: His Reign of Terror Is Over. Learn more about Justin and his books on his Amazon author page and Facebook.

Combining Two Different Genres

On Amazon Kindle, I recently released my latest book entitled Beyond the Master of Suspense: How True Crime Influenced The Films of Alfred Hitchcock. Many books were written on the legendary filmmaker and his career and often lumped in with either Filmmaking or Classic Film. Yet, according to my research, no one has written a book about him from the perspective of the real-life murders and crimes that inspired many of his movies.

 

Some people know that Ed Gein possibly inspiring the character of Norman Bates in Psycho. But there are others only known to diehard moviegoers and Hitchcock enthusiasts. Such as how the murders committed by Earle Nelson provided the idea for what became Shadow of a Doubt and the Leopold and Loeb case was the impetus for Rope, a Patrick Hamilton stage play which Hitchcock adapted as his first color film 1948.

 

Exploring topics from lesser-known angles is a huge benefit. In this case, it opens the work up to an entirely different genre. Unexpected surprises happen like that when one looks hard enough. Other instances of real-life murders inspiring Hitchcock films include Jack the Ripper providing the basis for his third film and first legit suspense thriller, The Lodger: A Story of The London Fog and The Siege of Sidney Street helping form his original version of The Man Who Knew Much, released in 1934. Both happened on The East End of London where Alfred Hitchcock himself was raised. Jack The Ripper and The Whitechapel Murders took place before he was born while the Siege happened when he attended elementary school. He possibly heard about these events from family, relatives, or neighbors, impacting his adulthood and filmmaking career for years to come.

 

He was also interested in a couple of physicians who committed murder. English native Dr. William Palmer, a nineteenth century surgeon, inspiring the Johnny Aysgarth character in Anthony Berkeley Cox’s novel Before the Fact, which Hitchcock adapted into Suspicion, starring Cary Grant. 

 

Cox also wrote Malice Aforethought, inspired by early twentieth century American Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, who immigrated to Great Britain before being found guilty and hanged for his crime. Hitchcock couldn’t make a go of a film adaptation of that book, but the real-life account stuck with him and provided bits of inspiration for Rear WindowVertigo, and Dial M For Murder, as well as an episode of his classic TV Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

 

Much has been written about how many of Hitchcocks films were based more directly on short stories, novels, and stage plays. Yet, in turn, these same sources derived their inspiration from the real-life murders. Then there was his father, who sent him to a police station with a note at five years old. Hitchcock then found himself placed in a room for five minutes with the admonishment, “This is what we do to naughty boys.” Also, as a boy, he reported to his mother’s bedside each night to discuss how his day went. However, the true crime influences don’t get enough credit.

 

The Wrong Man, culled almost entirely from an actual account, starred Henry Fonda as real-life musician Manny Balestrero, wrongly accused of robbing an insurance company in the 1950s. Alfred Hitchcock chose to film this movie in many of the actual locations where the events happened. In addition, he filmed in a more realistic documentary style with a subdued musical score.

 

This is why I implore writers to explore well known topics from lesser-known angles. One never knows what they might find, or the genre(s) an author may branch out into. When a path gets tired or stale, the scribe shouldn’t give up. Look at alternate paths to draw from to find new ideas for new works. It may turn out to be one of the best writing decisions a writer makes. After all, you never know, if you don’t try.

 

Beyond the Master of Suspense: How True Crime Influenced the Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Serial Killers/True Crime, Book 3


Many have seen and studied the classic films of Alfred Hitchcock, but how many people are aware that many of these movies were inspired by real life murders? These cases range from his native England in the 1800s to 1950s America. Influencing his work from The Lodger, his third directorial effort and first true suspense thriller, all the way down to Frenzy, his next-to-last film. 

 

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AUTHOR JEANNETTE DE BEAUVOIR ON FOOD AND THE MYSTERY PROTAGONIST

Image by Pablo Merchan-Montes for Unsplash

Jeannette de Beauvoir is a novelist specializing in mystery and historical fiction, and a published poet, who lives and works at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Learn more about her and her books at her website.

Food and the Mystery Protagonist

I love to eat. I love great food, unusual food, comfort food. I’ve rarely met a mushroom or a cheese I didn’t immediately take to, and cooking is almost always a delight. (And when it’s not, it’s an adventure!)

 

So when I read a novel that refers to food, my ears perk up.

 

As mystery readers, we’ve all had moments of disappointment with certain stories. For some, it’s when a clue doesn’t pan out. For others, when a character isn’t fully defined. For me, disappointment comes when characters have lunch, or go out to dinner, or even fix a snack… and the author doesn’t tell us what they had to eat. Wait, come back! I want to know every juicy culinary detail!

 

As a mystery writer who loves food, I never leave any of those out, to the point where my editor once reminded me that the story wasn’t just about fine dining. (Though to be fair, that’s a story I’d love to write.) Since I situate my books in real places, I almost always use real establishments and their menus for my characters’ meals—which has, of course, an obvious advantage for the writer, who must naturally sample said meals for verisimilitude’s sake!

 

There’s a wonderful story, possibly apocryphal, about the romantic thriller writer Phyllis Whitney. It was said that she would decide where she next wanted to go on vacation… and then set her upcoming novel there. I personally think that’s a terrific idea; and I certainly employ it in terms of food. What Provincetown restaurant would I like to try next? Time to send my protagonist Sydney there to check it out!

 

And I do share every detail… from pan bagnat at the Race Point Inn to pastries at the Portuguese bakery; from sips of her favorite Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine to her boyfriend Ali’s usual fruit juices. (He’s Muslim and doesn’t drink alcohol.) Sydney exults in finding the best food around and sharing it with friends and visitors—and readers—alike, and I get to remember the taste of all the meals I describe. It’s a win for both of us.

 

One of Provincetown’s great restaurants, a true institution in town since 1979, and a Sydney favorite is The Lobster Pot. The restaurant published a cookbook back in the 1990s (which I still use today), and on one of the pages I found this: “What makes The Lobster Pot work? Perhaps it can be summed up in the two words that pretty much describe the whole Provincetown experience for so many people every summer: magic and love.”

 

Mystery novels by their very nature take us to dark places, where the context of our stories include envy, greed, and hatred. It’s the nature of the genre, and it performs an important function, that of giving us a space where justice really does exist, where the world can actually be a fair place. But we still need balance to that darkness, and I think those words sum up the extras that mystery novelists add to the darkness. Magic and love. 

 

And for me, both of those have always involved… food!

 

The Honeymoon Homicides: A Provincetown Mystery

Sydney Riley Series, Book 10

 

Sydney Riley and her longtime boyfriend Ali have finally tied the knot—but an uninvited corpse crashes the reception. Undaunted, she and her brand-new husband leave for their honeymoon in the dunes of Cape Cod’s National Seashore. But even in this deserted location, Sydney uncovers clues that might have a bearing on the wedding fiasco—and put Ali’s life in danger. Can she find the murderer(s) before Ali is harmed, or will a week in the dunes be her only memory of their married life? 

 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

MYSTERY AUTHOR KASSANDRA LAMB TALKS OPPOSITES ATTRACTING--IN FICTION AND LIFE

In her youth, author Kassandra Lamb had to decide between writing and paying the bills. Partial to electricity and food, she studied psychology. Now retired from a career as a psychotherapist and college professor, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe with her characters. She is the author of the Kate Huntington mystery series, the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries, and the Co.P. on the Scene police procedural mysteries. She’s also written a guidebook for novice writers and writes romantic suspense as Jessica Dale. Learn more about her and her books at her website.

Opposites Attract...In Fiction and Real Life

 

I’m sure you’ve heard the two adages: “Birds of a feather flock together” and “Opposites attract.” Both can refer to romantic attraction. But which is true? 

 

As someone who has been an observer of human nature for many decades, I can say that ... it depends.

 

In some areas, it’s good to be similar. Values, goals, at least some interests, and even one’s sense of humor—it’s best to be on the same wavelength with those.

 

But with some personality traits, “opposites attract” applies. This is especially true for two traits: extroversion vs. introversion and intense vs. easygoing. With these two traits, if we are opposites, we tend to complement each other.

 

When I set out to write my newest series of police procedurals, I borrowed the protagonist, Judith Anderson, from another series (in which she was a secondary character.) I didn’t know a lot about her (see my post, How My Muse Revealed my Protagonist’s History with Flashbacks and Dreams.) I only knew that she was a good cop, a bit of a workaholic, and she had few friends.

 

So I wasn’t too surprised, as the series progressed, to discover she was a bit of an introvert. I also wasn’t surprised that she was a pretty intense person, passionate about her job and impatient with “nonsense” such as social niceties.

 

What did surprise me a little was her tendency to get anxious and restless when a case wasn’t going well. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, since I did thrust her into a new situation, way outside her comfort zone, by making her Chief of Police in a Florida city, hundreds of miles from her home state.

 

Enter stage right, her love interest, the sheriff of the adjoining county. Sheriff Sam Pierson has blue eyes, sandy hair, and an easy smile. And that was all I knew about him when my muse brought him on board.

 

Turns out he’s a bit more of an extrovert than Judith, and he’s very laid back. Which is a good thing. He tolerates her intensity, even taking it in stride most of the time.

 

But his easygoing nature is tested in Felony Murder, my latest book, when Judith informs him she has spotted him around town, when he was actually in his office in Clover County. He says he must have a doppelganger, and, at first, they both laugh it off.

 

But Judith keeps spotting this guy, who looks, and walks, and holds his head just like Sam. And he’s always talking to some woman (different women each time.) Plus, he’s wearing khaki, the color of Sam’s uniform.

 

Judith is not the most trusting person (because of her history,) so this is not a good scenario. Her old demons of distrust are stirred up, big time.

 

When I added this subplot to the story, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would get resolved in the end. Would they break up, at least temporarily?

 

Well, I should’ve trusted Sam. Here’s what this laid-back guy came up with...

 

“Are we good?” I went for a casual tone, but a lump had formed in my throat.

Sam looked at me for a long moment, his eyes soft. “I want us to be.”

I waited without saying anything, my eyes beginning to sting. I refuse to cry!

“Judith, I’m not going anywhere…but I’m disappointed that you don’t trust me more by now.” He paused, stared at the ceiling for a second, then met my gaze again. “I get it that you have trust issues, and I’ve tried to be patient with that. But…it hurts that you could think I’d play games like that, walk around town letting you spot me and then duck into the crowd.”

 

Mr. Easygoing hit just the right note with this speech, and without getting all that angry, as most people would. He is the perfect complement to Judith’s intense personality. 

 

I realized, after the fact, that I had modeled these characters a bit on my husband and me. We certainly prove the “opposites attract” adage when it comes to intensity. I’m the intense one, and he’s definitely quite laid back. That’s a very good thing, and probably the main reason why we’re still married after almost forty-eight years.

 

I once asked him, if he could summarize me in one word, what would it be? He said, “exciting.” How gracious of him!

 

My word for him was “comfortable.” I brought excitement into his introverted, laid-back world, and he has always been my comfortable safe harbor.

 

Do you and your mate have some “opposites attract” traits that complement each other?

 

Felony Murder

A C.o.P. on the Scene Mystery, Book 4

 

All is not as it seems in Starling, Florida

 

A phone call from a desperate teen, awaiting trial for felony murder, spurs Chief of Police Judith Anderson to re-open the case of a drug deal gone wrong. But her investigation finds more questions than answers. How did the white gang members involved end up with sweet plea deals, while the Latino kid with no record is charged with felony murder? Meanwhile, attempts on the mayor’s life and glimpses around town of her lover with various women divide Judith’s attention and trigger her old demons of distrust.

 

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

MYSTERY AUTHOR BARBARA EMODI ON HOW SEWING A GARMENT IS LIKE WRITING A BOOK

Gasper's Cove
Barbara Emodi writes sewing and craft-related cozy mysteries and sewing how-to books. Often when she sewed, she thought of the people she’s known and the stories she could tell. So now she writes mysteries. Learn more about Barbara and her books at her website and on Substack at How to be an Older Woman for Beginners.

Before I started writing fiction, I published two how-to sewing books, SEW…the garment-making book of knowledge and Stress-Free Sewing Solutions: a no-fail guide for the modern sewist.

 

With such a practical background, some members of my family were surprised at the switch from how to put-in-a-zipper to murder and mystery in the fictional (but extremely real to me) community of Gasper’s Cove, Nova Scotia.

 

It is interesting that not one of my sewing, crafty, or creative friends questioned my new direction. For them, as for me, the worlds of making things and solving crimes use parallel skills. The transition from non-fiction to fiction in my world has been seamless.

 

Let me show you what I mean. Let’s profile a typical sewist or crafter who:


· Could probably buy whatever she needs but prefers to make it herself, despite the cost, effort, and occasional frustration. She can’t help herself.


· Is a non-linear thinker, very good at making connections or at seeing potential in things other folks miss. That old sheet you were going to throw out? It’s really a rug, just rip it into 2” strips and get out the loom I happen to have in the basement …


· Never misses a detail. Did you use a twin-needle on that hem?


· Works best, is most creative, when faced with adversity or restrictions. A Depression era Dresden plate quilt?  I rest my case.


· Likes to solve other people’s problems. Your mother-in-law’s here. Where’s the mending?

 

The real question for me is how does anyone write a mystery, particularly a cozy mystery without crafty characters? Obviously, we are all born investigators and detectives.

 

Writing these stories has also given me a place to locate the many bits of interesting information I have picked up in the sewing classes I have taught for more than thirty years. The student whose pastor was a young seaman in a U-boat off the Nova Scotia coast in WWII? The one who looked up a periscope and thought to himself “What a beautiful place. If I ever get out of here alive, that’s where I am going to go and start a new life?”

 

The real crime would be if that bit of shared information was not allowed to inspire a mystery story. And it did. Book four of my Gasper’s Cove Mysteries, due out later this year is called Crafting a Getaway

 

A lot of my own life is in my books, too. Once I had a job as a press secretary for a senior political leader. (How I got that job is still a mystery to me.) In that position, I had to travel on the campaign bus during several elections. It was a strange experience that I survived only with the help of the sewing machine I kept hidden in my computer bag. The relationship of a crafty woman in that world gave me the material and the humor of my next release, coming out this month, Crafting with Slander. I had such a good time writing that book.

 

Gasper’s Cove is my own getaway, a place where I go to visit and see what the locals are up to. In addition to the four books so far in the Gasper’s Cove Mysteries, I also published four seasonal novellas in 2023. These are Spring – Panic in the Pansies, Summer – Inspection Deception, Fall- Potions and Notions and Holiday – Last Stitch Effort. I wrote them because I was so in love with some of the minor characters in the larger series that I wanted to have a place to tell their stories, too.

 

The theme of everything I write is that there is nothing ordinary about ordinary people. I would love for you to visit Gasper’s Cove with me. If you do, please drop me a line. I write for my readers.

 

Crafting with Slander

A Gasper’s Cove Mystery, Book 3

 

Corruption, chaos, and murder―Valerie Rankin is faced with a killer as crafty as she is.

 

Valerie Rankin is back in Gasper's Cove as a mayoral election brings chaos to the small town. A corrupt political scheme controls the town, and Valerie's cousin, Darlene, an ex-hairdresser, decides to run for mayor. With the help of Valerie and the Gasper's crafters, the group crafts a successful campaign. However, false rumors quickly spread about Darlene. Valerie moves to confront mayoral opponent Mighty Mike Murphy only to find him dead with one of her own stenciled campaign signs next to his body. Afraid that she or Darlene could be framed for his murder, Valerie must hunt down a killer before it's too late.

 

Preorder (available May 25th)