Alex Wright is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about A Christmas Candy Killing, the first novel in the Killer Chocolate mystery series.
Welcome, Alex. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
A Christmas Candy Killing is the first novel in the Killer Chocolate Mystery series. I’m Alex Wright and my sister, Hanna Eastham, and I own Murder and Mayhem: Killer Chocolates and Bookshop. For years I slaved as a business banker to save up enough money to open a bookshop. Then at the last minute Hanna quit her job as chocolatier at my parent’s restaurant and gift shop in Frankenmuth, Michigan to come work with me. You can imagine how that went over. Can you say angry? My mother didn’t speak to me for weeks. Like it was my fault.
Did I mention that we name all our chocolates after poisons? One of my favorites is Strawberry Strychnine. Oh, so good. Recently, the Sleuth Book Club met at the shop for our monthly dissection of a mystery novel. Jane Burrows gave a great presentation on M.C. Beaton’s, The Wizard of Eavesham. I just love Agatha Raisin. After the presentation Jane pulled me aside and told me she’d watched a true crime show and she was positive the killer was living in our village. To be honest, she’s said this more than once, so I wasn’t really too concerned. Until Jane ended up murdered.
When the sheriff named me as a suspect I ended up having to put on my sleuthing cap and look into the murder. Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends, not to mention my twin (did I mention Hanna and I are twins?) that helped me on my first case. My author says there’s another book coming out next year, so I’ll have to see what kind of mess she gets me involved in next time.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
The author that wrote the book is so controlling. She thinks just because the contract is in her name she gets to call the shots. But every now and again I say enough and I put my foot down when she’s trying to get me to say something I would never say. She’s a little too snarky for me at times. Don’t tell her, but I’m much nicer than she is.
How did you evolve as the main character?
The author and I are still getting to know each other in the first book and so I continue to evolve as a fictional character. My divorce early in my twenties has made me very careful. Hanna says I have trust issues. She should talk. Throughout the book, I’ve discovered a bit of a daredevil streak I didn’t know I had. I usually make a list and check it twice before buying a new mascara, but lately I’m just diving into things and thinking about it afterwards. Who knew I had it in me.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Of course, I love the fact that Hanna and I get to be in this story together. I moved away from Michigan right after high school and I missed her terribly. It’s been so nice having her close by again. I also partial to my neighbor, Drew. He’s a retired pharmacist and a total hypochondriac. His wife works at the store occasionally, I think so she can get away from him for a bit. But he’s super nice and helpful.
Our next door neighbor, Tom, is also fun to be around. He’s got a wicked sense of humor, though you have to get to know him before he’ll let you see that side of him. He’s also the pastor of our church, and was recently widowed. He’s kind of handsome in a Clint Eastwood sort of way. Well, when Clint was younger.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Harriston, Montana is where I live. It’s a quaint village with twelve hundred of the nicest, nosiest people you can imagine. We are at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, right on the edge of Echo Lake, about half an hour from Kalispell. We do get some cold, snowy winters, but summer is wonderful here. The village does an annual Christmas festival with a tree lighting, carollers that wander main street, free hot chocolate and cookies, and a dance. It’s all so fun.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Hanna and I love Christmas. It’s a big deal at our house. We decorate November first and watch all those made for television Hallmark Christmas movies. That’s what it felt like being in this book, like someone combined one of those Christmas movies with one of the Hallmark mysteries and threw us into the action. I’m curious what’s going to be happening next Christmas?
Thank you for answering my questions, Alex, and good luck to you and your author, Christina Romeril, with A Christmas Candy Killing, the frst book in the Killer Chocolate mystery series.
Readers can learn more about Alex and her author, Christina Romeril by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads and Instagram pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Christina Romeril: Christina loves to plot murders, especially by poisoning. When she’s not plotting how to kill one of her characters she’s coming up with ways to dispose of the body. Since writing her debut novel her husband’s friends have been regularly checking on his well-being.
Christina also loves to read, eat chocolates, and travel when she’s not in her she shed writing. She grew up in Southern Ontario and spent most of her summers in Muskoka swimming, boating, and generally getting into mischief. She’s lived on both coasts of Canada and has a love of being near the water and close to a forest. Thus, it makes perfect sense that she moved to the prairies of Southern Alberta over twenty years ago.
During the warmer months you’ll find her escaping to nearby Waterton Lakes National Park with her cooler stocked full of chocolate and pastries. Occasionally, the once avid hiker will even set out on one of the many hiking trails and hope she doesn’t run into a hungry bear.
Christina is a member of Sisters in Crime and enjoys interacting on social media.