Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling author of romance and mystery. Basket Case, is the first book in her new Silver Six Crafting Mystery series. She’s also the author of a vampire series set in her current hometown of St. Augustine, FL. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places for her books. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
It Runs in the Family
I come by my crafting gene honestly. My maternal grandmother sewed, and my great-aunt crocheted. My paternal grandmother crocheted and tatted. One of my aunt’s sewed, and another made purses for a while.
My mother might have been the most artistic of the lot. She carved and burned wood, tole painted, decoupaged, and crafted a large batik Madonna she had framed. She created elaborate holiday wreathes, ribbon pillows, knitted, and needlepointed. She also restored and repurposed furniture, particularly trunks. She’d find old, beat up trunks of all sizes, clean them up, and turn them into functional works of art.
In my past, I’ve let my artsy-crafty gene loose on any number of projects. I’ve crocheted scarves, headbands, and baby items such as blankets, booties, and hats. I’ve needlepointed using both standard and plastic canvases, and even designed and created a footstool cover for one of my sisters-in-law. I’ve made large, small, and mini wreathes, arranged artificial flowers, refinished and repurposed furniture, and crafted bead and feather jewelry. Heck, I even took up painting, although the results have to be described as beyond primitive. Prehistoric, perhaps? That’s okay. There’s something wonderfully freeing about slapping paint on a canvas and seeing where expression takes me.
Alas, I no longer make the time to craft like I used to do, but I admit to having yarn and crochet needles, and needlepoint canvas stashed in the guest closet. Oh, and half a dozen small gourds, too. I’m waiting for both the time and the inspiration to work with those, but they’ll be there when I get to them.
Meantime I indulge my love of art and crafting by writing folk artist characters who’ve bonded together to create their own family. I get to exercise my craft gene in a different way, and I’m loving the research!
Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix expects trouble when she’s summoned to check the welfare of her basket-weaving Aunt Sherry Mae. The trouble she expects in little Lilyvale, Arkansas is not the kind of trouble she finds. Sherry and her five housemates are not the least bit ill or forgetful, much less senile enough to be causing explosions and fires in the rambling old farmhouse. The self-styled Senior Six are, in fact, hosting a mobbed folk art festival on the lawn when Nixy arrives.
Nixy soon learns they are also battling a nasty-tempered real estate developer, a woman who wants Sherry Mae’s ancestral home and land at any cost. The seniors suspect the developer of burglarizing their barn, blowing up their mailbox, and then poisoning a box of chocolates left for Sherry.
Nixy still plans to return to her life and her art-gallery job in Houston—until the developer is found dead in the family cemetery. Now Sherry Mae is a suspect, and Nixy is determined to stay in Lilyvale to prove her aunt’s innocence. Nixy rallies the seniors to help investigate—a move that defies handsome police detective Eric Shoar, and puts Nixy and the Six in the killer’s sights.