Today we sit down for a chat with Karina Cardinal from author Ellen Butler’s Karina Cardinal Mysteries.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I was just your average Joe working on Capitol Hill. Seriously, my life leaned toward the side of bland. I’d been dating this guy who seemed normal, and I worked for a medical association in their government affairs department. I attended lots of boring fundraisers and committee meetings. My life could not have been more ordinary. Then one day, it was like … poof … the end of my normal life. The guy I’m engaged to turns out to be a stalker. His father is involved with the mafia, and my own impetuosity gets me into a jam that endangers my life. Ever since then, I keep finding myself amid the most ridiculous capers.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
I’d have to say, I’m fiercely loyal to my friends and family. As a matter of fact, it is my utmost loyalty that has gotten me into some difficult situations.
What do you like least about yourself?
Well, Mike would probably say it was my impulsiveness. It borderlines on recklessness. I’ll admit, patience is not my strength. I’m not good at waiting around, and, occasionally, I act before knowing all the facts.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
*eyeroll* Boy that’s a tough question to answer. So many choices—perhaps it was the time Rodrigo and I chased an assassin up I-95, until he turned the tables on us (Fatal Legislation). Maybe the time I allowed my neighbor to talk me into smuggling an Egyptian artifact into Mexico (Pharaoh’s Forgery). Or the latest, holding a séance at my aunt’s house to speak with the Civil War ghost living there (Spectral Revelations releasing October 2023). Really my author thinks up the most insane shenanigans. Sometimes I wonder if I’m in an I Love Lucy skit.
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
Of course, we argue! It takes plenty of drafts and deletions before we’re both satisfied.
What is your greatest fear?
Losing my sister or family members during one of my escapades.
What makes you happy?
Shoes. I love shoes. I’m an absolute shoe-a-holic. I should probably see someone about that.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
That would be my neighbor down the hall, Jasper. He’s into reptiles, and his condo is like Wild Kingdom. He’s always wandering the halls with a snake or lizard. It freaks me out.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
My eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Thundermuffin. To say she’s colorful is an understatement. She’s also sharper than she lets on. I want to be like Mrs. T when I grow up.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
You can find her at her website. She also writes historical spy novels. You think I get into trouble. Wait until you read about her spies in WWII and the Cold War. Those ladies were something else. She bases the novels on true events.
What's next for you?
My author just finished the sixth book in my series, and she says she’s done with them. Perhaps, it means I can return to my normal life. However, you know the old saying—never say, never. Maybe in a few years, my author will come up with a new adventure.
Ellen (the author): Don’t count on it. *crosses her arms and raises an eyebrow*
A Karina Cardinal Mystery, Book 4
Margaritas, mayhem, and murder. Too bad her only defense is a cocktail umbrella.
After some of Karina Cardinal’s recent adventures—her lover Mike Finnegan would call them scrapes, jams, or pickles—she’s more than ready to blow this D.C. pop stand for a short girls’ trip to Mexico. Until Jillian’s roller skate wreck blows their plan out of the water.
With Jilly injured and Mike working, her fellow co-worker Rodrigo volunteers to share some sun, sand, and margaritas in Cancun. It’s tough to relax, though, knowing what’s in her suitcase. A package she promised to hand off to Mrs. Thundermuffin in Mexico.
Mrs. T’s evasive maneuvers around Karina’s questions wave more red flags than a bullfighter, leaving Karina no choice but to take a peek. Okay, so it’s not a kilo of something illegal. It’s an Egyptian death mask that turns out to be a magnet for crooks, conmen, kidnappers, and outright killers.
When the situation explodes into chaos, Karina and Rodrigo are lucky to have friends in the right place—at their backs. But they’re in one heck of a jam. And they could be going home in something tackier than a souvenir t-shirt—more like a body bag.