Perils in Yorkshire

Today Deidre Barclay is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Perils in Yorkshire, the latest novel in the British Book Tour mystery series.

Welcome, Deirdre. 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.

My name is Deidre Barclay. I’m the sister of Clare Barkley who owns and operates The British Mystery Book Tours. Claire get tangled in murder investigations. She shouldn’t do that. That’s my job as a barrister. Claire hasn’t the background or the training for investigations. I don’t know whether she just stumbles on them, is rabidly curious about what happens around her, or her significant other, Detective Inspector Mark Evans, nudges her towards them.

I was quite involved with the first murder when Clare moved to Hampshire. The second one occurred in Hampshire as well, but we solved it in Cornwell where my daughter Kayla and I had joined Claire’s tour. Claire is my older sister. She left home when I was about nine years old but we kept in touch and now that she’s back in England, we see each other often.

This time, Claire was in Yorkshire where someone died right at her feet. I wasn’t with her. I had to work, but I was having so much trouble with Kayla that I sent her to York to be with Claire. Claire promised me she was leaving York to go to the  Dale’s and the Moors, so I thought  Kala would be safe with her.

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?

Emma, the writer, thinks she knows what’s going to happen as she writes the story, but I have a flamboyant personality and I tend to lob what my son Josh calls spin balls into Claire’s life. I wouldn’t want Emma to get too comfortable.

How did you evolve as the main character?

I’m not the main character; my sister Claire is. Unfair really, as I have an interesting life and deal with murders as well. I think Claire got to be the main character because Emma-the-author wanted to travel to the places that Claire goes. Who wouldn’t want to spend some time in Hampshire, the glory that is Cornwall and the historic town of York? Once she had Claire running a tour business, she could take her anywhere in Britain. So that means Emma ate in the restaurants that Claire eats in, saw the scenes Claire sees and sometimes even met the characters that appear in the book.

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?

I share my life with my husband Michael who is also a barrister, my son Josh, a teen, my daughter Kala a preteen, as well as two Labradors. I sometimes look after Claire’s dog Gulliver who is quite a character in himself. Claire has other characters she interacts with. The most important is her love, Mark Evans. I wish she would make a commitment to him—he’s a lovely bloke—but she doesn’t seem ready. Then there are all those proprietors and managers of guest hotels who become her friends. She does get some crazy characters who sign up for her tours, mostly from America. She enjoys them, most of them.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?

I stay most of the time in Guildford which is close to London as that’s where my family and my work is. But Claire, lucky Claire, gets to travel all over Britain. She has a house in Hampshire in a village called Ashton-on-Tinch but travels with her tours around Britain, even to Scotland. I try to join the tours when I can, but I don’t have Claire’s drive for new places, new people and new experiences. She usually takes her tours into the countryside as most people want to see country Britain where they can interact with the local people and sample the pub food. It seems an ideal way to understand new country, if only Claire could stop stumbling over bodies.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?

You’ll like Claire when you meet her in the books. In Perils in Yorkshire, she deals with complex personalities from America and from Britain and she also deals with my troubled child Kayla. Claire is remarkably practical, analytical and more emotional than she knows. She does the responsible thing almost always and asks for help and advice when she needs it, so you’d think she’d stay out of trouble and never be confronted with anything dramatic or difficult. Not true. She makes mistakes. She gets into trouble. If I didn’t love her so much, she’d drive me crazy.

Thank you for answering my questions, Deirdre, and good luck to you and your author, Emma Dakin, with Perils in Yorkshire, the latest book in the British Book Tour mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Deirdre and her author, Emma Dakin by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook and Goodreads pages.

The novel is available at the following online retailers:

Amazon  – B&N  – IndieBound – Kobo – Google Play 

About Emma Dakin: Emma lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She has over thirty trade-published books of mystery and adventure for teens and middle-grade children and non-fiction for teens and adults. Her memoir Always Pack a Candle: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin has received wide recognition. But she keeps returning to her favorite genre, cozy mysteries. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to reading cozy mysteries keep her writing about characters who live and work in those villages. She enjoys those characters and trusts you will as well.

Posted in Archives, December 2021 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bear A Wee Grudge

Today Meg Macy is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Bear A Wee Grudge, her latest novel in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Cozy Mystery series.

Welcome, Meg. Let’s get started, shall we?

Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series?

Bear A Wee Grudge is Book 5 of the “Shamelessly Adorable” Teddy Bear cozy mysteries, so yes! And my amateur sleuth, Sasha Silverman, is helping out with the very first Highland Fling that will include a Kilted 5K run, dancing, music, and even a Hurl-the-Haggis contest.

Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?

Every day I post photos of bears to share on my Facebook page. I noticed a kilted bear online and that sparked the idea of creating a Highland Fling event for my “cozy” village. Sasha has planned charity fundraisers or special parties in previous books, and I loved researching the festive food, games, and setting details. It’s always tougher to choose a murder victim for the plot! You don’t want to “off” a popular character, of course, so I chose a minor character who first appeared in Book 1, Bearly Departed. Teddy Hartman made trouble back then, and given the business rivalry between the Silver Bear Shop & Factory and Hartman’s Bears of the Heart, the guy had to bite the dust.

Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?

Family is a major theme of this book and the entire series. After a nasty divorce, Sasha returned to Silver Hollow to manage the family business, joining her sister and uncle. After four books, she’s in a relationship with a woodcarving artist, Jay Kirby, who shares her belief that “family comes first.” And in Bear A Wee Grudge, the Silverman clan faces some major conflicts before the Fling even begins.

How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?

First I start with their age and birthdate, which gives me an idea of their personality (using a handy dandy guide with both western and Chinese Zodiac traits.) I’m usually inspired by a film or television actor or actress to give me an idea of what they look like—not exactly, but it helps to watch their movements, voice, etc. Sasha resembles Emily Wickersham (formerly on NCIS), while Jay is modelled on Tom Mison (formerly on Sleepy Hollow.) I do enjoy Sasha’s grumpy Uncle Ross with his classic Thunderbird (turquoise interior) and his wife Aunt Eve who loves to wear 50s style fashions. It’s fun choosing outfits for her on Pinterest.

How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?

I researched the Chelsea Teddy Bear Factory (although they moved from southeast Michigan to Missouri) and found photos of their shop, storage solutions, tours, etc. But I chose a Victorian-style former residence that Sasha’s dad renovated into the Silver Bear Shop, along with the former carriage house he expanded into a factory. Sasha and her sister also live in the shop’s back and upstairs rooms. I loved checking out photos to decorate the interior of their private rooms, plus the shop, via Pinterest. It’s great fun.

What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?

For each book, I’ve researched social events, seasonal fashions, and the like. For example, in Bear Witness to Murder, with a fall OktoBear festival, I checked out costumes like dirndls and lederhosen. For Have Yourself A Beary Little Murder, I often attended Christmas parades and tree lighting ceremonies in small towns. And who doesn’t have a few interesting wedding stories? I added some details about dealing with a Bridezilla along with being a bridesmaid in Wedding Bear Blues. While I never attended a Highland Fling, I watched several YouTube videos about the various dances, music, and games like the caber toss or hammer throw. That added authenticity to the descriptions, along with researching various Scottish foods, for Bear A Wee Grudge.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?

I hope readers enjoy the latest special event in Silver Hollow, along with trying to figure out who killed the Silver Bear Shop & Factory’s business rival. Sasha’s not about to let a murder ruin the Highland Fling!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog!

You’re welcome, Meg. Thank you for answering my questions and good luck with Bear A Wee Grudge, your latest novel in the Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear Cozy Mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Meg by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub and Instagram pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.

The novel is available online at the following retailers:

Amazon –  B&N  – Kobo   – Google Play  – Apple Books

About Meg Macy: Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the setting of her “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Posted in December 2021 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

You Can’t Candle the Truth

Today Hazel Wickbury is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about You Can’t Candle the Truth, the first novel in the Glenmyre Whim mystery series.

Welcome, Hazel. 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. You Can’t Candle the Truth is my first outing as an amateur sleuth, albeit a somewhat reluctant one. I live in Crucible, New York in a beautiful cozy cottage next to a lake. I run a candle shop where I sell my homemade candles. Life is pretty good…until our town experiences a grave tragedy. When one of my friends dies and his kindhearted fiancée is accused, I feel totally responsible. You see…I have a special ability, what my family the Glenmyres call a ‘whim.’ My whim allows me to see when someone is going to die. Heavy stuff, I know. I actually wear special glasses that obscure the lifeclocks hovering above everyone’s heads, revealing a countdown to their passing. But I accidently saw Kevin Finchmore’s lifeclock the day before he was found dead, and he had nearly fifty years ahead of him. My whim is only ever wrong when murder is involved. And now, because I called an anonymous tip into the state police that Kevin didn’t die from natural causes—as everyone is town believes—my friend Cora is suspect number one on their list. Determined to prove her innocent, I team up with my aunt, Poppy Glenmyre, to try and clear Cora’s name.

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too? I’m a pretty easy-going person, so my author Sarah usually takes the reins when it comes to how I go about my life. But my aunt Poppy is a bit more vocal than I am, so sometimes she takes us off on wild detours that result in fun adventures. As much as I know my author loves it when things go according to her plan or outline, some of our best scenes are spur of the moment inspirations.

How did you evolve as the main character? I was very reluctant to take center stage in You Can’t Candle the Truth, that’s for sure. I’m very content with my life as a candlemaker, and I don’t like to ruffle feathers. I leave that to Poppy. A lot of my hesitancy to get too involved in people’s lives stems from my whim, my ability to see when someone is going to die. Even though I wear special glasses to block the lifeclocks, I’m always worried my glasses will slip and the truth will be revealed. It’s a heavy burden to live with. But when a friend’s freedom was jeopardized, something stirred within me, and I knew I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer. I just had to get involved and right this wrong.

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them? I’ve mentioned my aunt Poppy. She’s been my best friend for as long as I can remember. She’s only two years older than me and was raised by my mom and my Great-Aunt Ruthie after my grandparents passed away. Poppy’s vibrant, extroverted personally helps me get outside my comfort zone, and she brings such light and laughter to my quiet life. Although, she has her moments where she can be more like an annoying sibling than a best friend. She’s constantly goading me into asking Crucible’s adorable, intelligent bookseller, Ezra Walters, on a date. While I’ll love to get to know Ezra more, I’m worried that my whim will get in the way of our relationship.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story? I love my hometown of Crucible, New York. I’ve lived here my whole life, enjoying all it has to offer. The downtown area is particularly fun, with places like Cold Cauldron Brewery, The Poignant Page, Herb Garden (the local market), and the stately Elderberry Inn. Crucible sits on a glorious lake named after my ancestor Jedidiah Glenmyre. Back when Crucible was first founded, Jedidiah cast an enchantment over the town, so that nothing bad would ever happen here. No crime, no natural disasters, nothing. Over the centuries, this protection shield has pretty much sapped the true power from the Glenmyre clan, leaving us with only our whims. And with the recent murder in Crucible, Poppy and I are beginning to wonder if the protection spell cast by our ancestor is failing. As the last of the Glenmyres, it’ll be up to us to set things right.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book? Thank you so much for having me here today. It’s been so fun sharing my story with you. Things in Crucible are just heating up! You Can’t Candle the Truth is my first outing as an amateur sleuth, and I’m already back to work on a new case with Poppy. Book 2 in the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries will be out in late 2022.

Thank you for answering my questions, Hazel, and good luck to you and your author, Sarah E. Burr, with You Can’t Candle the Truth, the first book in the Glenmyre Whim mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Hazel and her author, Sarah E. Burr by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.

The novel is available at the following online retailers:

Amazon  – GoodReads Link

About Sarah E. Burr: Sarah lives near New York City. Hailing from the small town of Appleton, Maine, she has been dreaming of being Nancy Drew since she was a little girl. Since she wasn’t stumbling across any crime scenes in corporate America, Sarah left her career in healthcare technology to write mysteries of her own.

You Can’t Candle the Truth is Sarah’s first foray into the paranormal cozy genre, and there’s even more murder and mystery in the works for Sarah. #FOLLOWME FOR MURDER, first in the TRENDING TOPIC MYSTERIES, shines the spotlight on a social media PR expert after she discovers a dead body in her clients’ store, forcing her to untangle a web of secrets in her small, beachside town. This title is expected in February 2022 by Level Best Books. Sarah is also the author of the Court of Mystery series, where murder is always a royal affair for her heroine, Duchess Jacqueline.

Sarah attended Elmira College and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies. She loves to weave these themes into her writing. When she’s not spinning up new stories, Sarah is off seeing Broadway musicals, reading up a storm, video gaming, and enjoying walks with her dog, Eevee. She is represented by Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Danger at Dunhaven Castle

Today Cate Kensie is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Danger at Dunhaven Castle, the first novel in the Cate Kensie mystery series.

Welcome, Cate. 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.

Hi, I’m Cate Kensie, star of the Cate Kensie Mysteries, a cozy mystery series.  Well, maybe I’m not the star.  That honor probably rests with my dog, Riley, who gets A LOT of attention from readers (and I can understand why!). 

My series follows me from my humble beginnings as an American college professor to my current position as Countess of Dunhavenshire, Scotland, and mistress of Dunhaven Castle!  I inherited the castle from a relative I never realized I had: Lady Gertrude MacKenzie.  I didn’t think I had any relatives after my parents died, but it turns out I did and just as my career stalled, I inherited the castle, moved to Scotland and the rest, as they say, is history.

Little did I know I’d inherited a castle with a secret!  And WOW what a secret!  The castle, along with the timepiece passed on to me by Gertrude, allows us to TIME TRAVEL (see Book 1 if you want to know how we figured that out!).  When I say us, I mean myself and my estate manager, Jack Reid.  Only Reids and MacKenzies know about the secret, and we’re supposed to protect each other and the secret. 

Since discovering the anomaly, Jack and I have been time traveling to solve a few mysteries.  First, when my ancestor was accused of murder in 1856 and second when someone robbed my family of heirloom necklaces in 1925. 

This time around, though, I’m not sure what to make of things.  You see, I’ve just found the journals of my ancestor, Douglas MacKenzie, the castle’s builder.  And not a moment too soon!  We’ve been experiencing a few… oddities with the time rips that allow us to slip into other centuries.  Put that on top of the crippling nightmares I keep having and we’re smack dab in the middle of another set of mysteries. 

I really hope I can figure out who the man chasing me in my dreams is and how Douglas mastered time travel before disaster strikes!  Maybe you can help! 

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?

I’m not sure either of us control what happens!  Life kind of happens to me and I relay it all back to her to write down!  I hope you enjoy my stories.  I usually do, at least after they are over.  Sometimes they’re stressful to live through!  That’s how I know Nellie doesn’t really control what happens to me!  I’ve been shot at, almost drowned, slipped back in time without realizing it and more!  She’d NEVER let anything happen to me.  After all, I’m named after her grandmother, Catherine!

How did you evolve as the main character?

Great question!  I started out pretty backward and introverted.  I spent most of my time alone (and I liked it just fine, no complaints!), but now that I’m a Countess, I can’t really hide myself away.  Mrs. Campbell, our town’s librarian and historical society president, really loves showing off the castle and I can’t say I blame her.  She’s already planned three parties on the estate and they’ve come off really well.

I recall slipping into my evening gown before the New Year’s Eve gala and thinking how different my life had become.  Only one year before, I’d fallen asleep before the ball dropped in Times Square in a pair of sweatpants with Riley curled at my side.  A year later, I was meeting and greeting lords and ladies along with our townsfolk at VIP event in my own castle!

I’m still not sure how well I’m doing at this Countess thing, but I’m hoping I’m making the transition from shrinking violet to sociable host!

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?

Before I moved to Dunhaven, I was pretty much on my own, outside of my little black and white dog, Riley.  He is definitely my best friend, sounding board and boy, does he love Scotland! 

Since we’ve moved, I’ve got a whole new set of friends to share my life with!  First, there’s Jack Reid, my estate manager.  He knows about the secret and, though he doesn’t love time traveling as much as I do, he is great to share adventures with.  He’s fun, funny and he always looks out for me. 

Then there’s Bailey!  While Jack and I were busy solving a murder mystery in 1856, my buddy, Riley, was busy solving his own mystery!  He found his new friend, Bailey, in a folly on the property.  Bailey ran away from a local farm.  The farmers offered for me to adopt him, and I readily accepted.  It’s great that Riley has a new puppy pal!

And, of course, there are the Frasers, Charlie and Emily, my groundskeeper and housekeeper and our newest addition to the castle, Molly.  Molly was a friend of my from my college professor days and the department secretary for my department.  She just moved to Scotland to become my housekeeper-in-training after a nasty bit of luck.  I hope she loves it here as much as I do.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?

Dunhaven Castle and its grounds are simply stunning!  The castle itself is beautiful and pretty big, too!  I’m not sure I can count the number of rooms even if I tried.  My favorite ones are the sitting room off the foyer and the library.  I just love the tartan curtains and all the heavy, dark woods there.  I love the tearoom, too.  It’s so bright and cheery.  And, of course, I love my bedroom suite with its chaise lounge near the fireplace in the sitting area. 

My other favorite spot is the loch out back.  Riley, Bailey and I love to walk to it and then lounge on the bank and watch the clouds roll by.  And when the water is still, I can see the reflection of the castle in it!

P.S.  If you’d like to see pictures of my home, check out the Members Only area at www.nelliesbooknook.com.  I’ve got tons of pictures posted of my house and the grounds!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?

I’d honestly say this is one of my most exciting adventures so far!  Even if you haven’t read any of my other stories, you can jump right into this one.  And if you like some of the side characters that pop up on this story, there’s another entire series with them for you to dive into!

I hope you’ll join me for my latest mystery, I’d love your help in solving it!  And I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting Riley and Bailey, too!

Thank you for answering my questions, Cate good luck to you and your author, Nellie H. Steele, with Danger at Dunhaven Castle, the first book in the Cate Kensie mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Cate and her author, Nellie H. Steele by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub, Instagram and Tiktok pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.

The novel is available online at Amazon.

About Nellie H. Steele: An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s TombNellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.

An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies!  A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.  When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Mystery of the Eight Islands

Today McKenna is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about The Mystery of the Eight Islands, the latest novel in the Trouble in Paradise mystery series.

Welcome, McKenna. 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.

Hey, everybody, McKenna here. Thanks for inviting me to do this Q&A. I’m usually the one asking the questions, but I guess I’m not the one playing amateur sleuth for the day, eh, Ashcroft? Sorry, couldn’t resist myself. Anyway, Mystery of the Eight Islands is my eleventh Trouble in Paradise Mystery. A long time ago, he thought it would be fun to write a mystery set in Hawaii. He decided that since I’d been a skip tracer, I’d make a good amateur sleuth. I turned him down at first, but—like everything else in life—I got pulled in by a woman.

My writer had me traipsing around the Big Island, Kauai, Maui, and O’ahu for a while. I haven’t done much traveling in the past few books. I’m guessing my writer’s travel budget ran out, but he won’t share those kinds of details with me. You know what cheapskates some of these writers can be.

Anyway, there seems to be plenty of crimes to solve on O’ahu. This latest one involves an attorney who fell down a flight of stairs and died. Coincidentally, the Eight Islands, a valuable antique necklace the man owned, disappeared the same day. The victim’s granddaughter wants help finding her grandfather’s killer—she claims he was murdered—but I think she’s got ulterior motives. Like getting back that quarter of a million dollar necklace.

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?

If you talk to my writer, he’ll tell you he’s in control. He gets out his little index cards and fancy software and plays master and commander of the novel. He even went so far as to make me eat poi one time. I took one bite, told him it tasted like wallpaper paste, and laid down the law. He gave in because he knows I’m the one doing the heavy lifting. I get a big assist from my friend Chance Logan. My writer keeps trying to hold Chance back and not let him get his PI license. We all know that’s going to happen sooner or later. These writer types, they can only hold off the inevitable for so long. They just don’t like to admit it.

How did you evolve as the main character?

My writer tells me he was on Kauai and was looking through the slats of the blinds when inspiration struck. I think that’s a bunch of hooey. Once he started writing (after playing with his silly index cards and all his other little writer toys) I showed him how to get the job done. After that, I had him and he couldn’t let anyone else be the main character.

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?

That depends on which part of the story we’re talking about. For the sleuthing part, I enjoy working with Chance. As far as my personal life goes, I much prefer sharing that part of the story with my wife, Benni. I’m pretty sure most of the folks who read your blog can figure out my reasoning.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?

Honolulu’s a great place. Warm days, gentle trade winds, and fabulous sunsets. What’s not to like? Right? Because Hawaii draws so many tourists, life can get a little crazy. The good news is that as long as you stay away from the tourist traps, we really don’t have to deal with them much. Most of them are here for the sandy beaches, warm waters, and palm trees. Personally, after being here for almost a decade, I’m starting to think of it as home.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?

Well, first of all, I got married a couple of books ago, so, ladies, I’m off the market. Second off, Mystery of the Eight Islands is a tricky case. We’re dealing with a century-old jewel theft, what seems like a bogus list of suspects, and a bunch of people with secrets. Then there’s the problems my writer caused—a big tenant issue and the possibility that Chance might lose his opportunity to become a PI. I’m telling you, people, my writer really needs to take a chill pill. He’s got this thing about complications. Anyway, I hope you check out Mystery of the Eight Islands. It’s a lot more fun than eating poi.

Thank you for answering my questions, McKenna, and good luck to you and your author, Terry Ambrose, with The Mystery of the Eight Islands, the latest book in the Trouble in Paradise mystery series.

Readers can learn more about McKenna and his author, Terry Ambrose by visiting the author’s website and his Facebook, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Instagram pages. You can also follow him on Twitter.

The novel is available online at  Amazon 

About Terry Ambrose: Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Terry has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Death on the Shelf

Today Allison Brook is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Death on the Shelf, her latest novel in the Haunted Library Mystery series.

Welcome, Allison. Let’s get started, shall we?

Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.

DEATH ON THE SHELF is the fifth book in my Haunted Library series set in a small town in Connecticut called Clover Ridge. Much of the action takes place in the library where my sleuth, Carrie Singleton, works as head of programs and events. Carrie often solves murders with the help of the library ghost, Evelyn Havers, who can only be seen by Carrie and Carrie’s little cousin.

In DEATH ON THE SHELF, Carrie’s best friend, Angela, who also works in the library, gets married. Angela is worried that her antagonistic brother will do something awful and ruin her wedding. And why is her newly-divorced cousin Roxy clinging to Aiden, her cousin Donna’s husband? Angela’s fears are realized when someone falls down dead at the wedding and Carrie must find out who is behind this dastardly deed.

Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?

This grew out of the previous book when Angela got engaged. The new characters, many of whom are Angela’s relatives, appeared and the story took on a life of its own.

Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?

The theme of DEATH ON THE SHELF is love and marriage. There’s Angela’s wedding, Carrie’s father’s upcoming wedding, and Carrie’s own engagement.  In contrast are the marriages of Angela’s cousins.

How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?

My characters simply come to me. I do have some favourite ones–like Evelyn Havers, the library ghost. Evelyn often helps Carrie solve mysteries. She lived in Clover Ridge for many years and knows many of the residents. Also, being older—forever in her mid-sixties–she occasionally offers Carrie advice. Yet, Evelyn is often mysterious, refusing to tell Carrie about her life when she’s not at the library. Or holding back information when one of her relatives just might be the murderer.

How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?

While the library and the town of Clover Ridge are inventions of my mind, I have specific places in mind when I write about them.

What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?

I find I’m always doing research, be it on wedding protocol, selecting a menu for an event or learning about various criminal activities. I do most of my research online. If I’m dealing with a profession I don’t know too much about, I will seek out a person in that field to learn about it.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?

The scene where Carrie spies on the murderer is a fun scene, and the final scene is rather touching. While each book in the Haunted Library series can be read as a standalone, readers who start with DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, will see how much Carrie has grown and changed over the course of the five books.

Thank you for answering my questions, Allison, and good luck with Death on the Shelf, your latest novel in the Haunted Library Mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Allison by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.

The book is available on at the following retailers:

 Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound

About Allison Brook: Allison Brook is a penname of Marilyn Levinson. Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series.

Her juvenile novel, Rufus and Magic Run Amok, was an International Reading Association-Children’s Book Council Children’s Choice. And Don’t Bring Jeremy was a nominee for six state awards.

Marilyn lives on Long Island, where many of her books take place. She loves traveling, reading, doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku, and chatting on FaceTime with her grandkids.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Nightmare on the Bike Trail

Today Jodi Linton is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Nightmare on the Bike Trail, her latest novel in the Southwest Exposure Mystery series.

Welcome, Jodi. Let’s get started, shall we?

Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.

Nightmare on the Bike Trail is book four in my Southwest Exposure Mystery Series. The series follows amateur sleuth and outdoor guide, Andie Sullivan, as she solves crimes in her mountain community of Bushwhack, New Mexico.

Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?

A couple years back, my husband and I took the kids to Ruidoso, New Mexico for a trip. There we had the grand idea of renting mountain bikes to take on the trails. Well, my kids didn’t think the idea was so fabulous. They’d stop every two seconds, and I was behind them, so I had to stop, going uphill. It was a nightmare. And that’s how I came up with the idea for the title and some plot to storyline of Nightmare on the Bike Trail.

Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?

Not necessarily. The book is part of a series and some of the plot connects to an overarching subplot, but the book can be read as a standalone.

How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?

I created Andie Sullivan and Zac Mars after going on several vacations to the mountains and wondering what it would be like to live there. I just threw a murder mystery into it.

How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?

When it comes to Bushwhack, New Mexico—my family and I are regular vacationers to Red River, New Mexico and surrounding mountain communities so I was able to draw from my experiences or what I saw.

What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?

As to research for the Southwest Exposure Mysteries, I actually do outdoors adventures to get a feel of what Andie and her friends might be doing. A few weeks ago, I went canoeing on the Brazos River and spent a day out in nature.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?

Just that it’s a fun, thrilling story and if they haven’t started reading about Andie and her crime solving adventures—now’s the time.

Thank you for answering my questions, Jodi, and good luck with Nightmare on the Bike Trail, your latest novel in the Southwest Exposure Mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Jodi by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook, Goodreads and Bookbub pages.

The book is available on at the following retailers:

 Amazon  B&N    Kobo     iBooks

About Jodi Linton: Jodi is an author of several romance novels and cozy mysteries. She pens funny, romantic, whodunnits during her days in between being a carpool mom. She lives in Texas with her husband, with who she runs the family day business with and two kids. When she isn’t writing her next page turner, she likes to delve into her hobby of finding all the cool, new makeup products to buy.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

An Eggnog to Die For

Today Helene Greenberg is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about An Eggnog to Die For, the latest novel in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series.

Welcome, Helene. 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.

Greetings. My name is Helene Greenberg. I live inside the Cape Cod Foodie series, which features Samantha Barnes (known to her friends as Sam) a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod, where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends (which apparently includes me), a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies.

The truth is I’m still amazed at the (sometimes hilarious, I admit) murder and mayhem in the first book of the series, A SIDE OF MURDER.  Nor do I see much relief in sight in the book I’m living in now, AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR. But I digress…

Back to me, Helene. For 25 years, I was a legal psychologist with the Manhattan DA’s office, where I evaluated countless people facing criminal charges. When I retired three years ago, I moved to the town of Fair Harbor on the Cape, where I’m now a librarian, a job I much prefer. Sam says I am like no other librarian you ever met. Perhaps. Who am I to say? I am 60-ish with a mane of curly silver hair that I don’t even try to tame, a penchant for t-shirts that say things like “Don’t judge my journey,” and very little tolerance for fools.  

But more to the point, I am Sam Barnes’ next door neighbor and confidant. 

When Sam she found she’d inherited her Aunt Ida’s house on the Cape, she retreated home to Fair Harbor, got a job writing restaurant reviews and, on her first assignment (in A SIDE OF MURDER), promptly found a dead body. (Sigh.) And now she’s doing it again in AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR.  Only this time, she stumbles over a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant. (Sigh again.) No matter how many times I advise Sam to be very, very careful, she invariably is not.  But I keep trying…

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?

Honestly, I find our writer a little controlling. Granted, she has to deal with Sam, who never fails to surprise us with her not-being-very-very-careful thing. But I am a reasonable person. You’d think I’d have some input.

About the only thing our writer will let me do is 1) train Sam’s dog, Diogi (pronounced Dee-OH-gee, as in D O G, get it?), which I am quite good at, although I have been accused of using untraditional commands (I ask you, what is wrong with “Diogi, shut up!”?).  And 2) she agrees to let me caution Sam about behaving sensibly in her detection. Also, 3, the writer turns to me to explain why bad guys do what they do. (Twenty-five years with the DA’s office left me with a deep, if cynical, understanding of human nature.) And, of course, 4) she’s all for me trying to guide Sam in her sometimes rocky relationship with the town harbormaster, Jason Captiva.

So actually, now that I come to think about it, apparently I do get a say. 

How did you evolve as a character?

I am 60-something years old, for goodness sake.  I stopped evolving a long time ago. 

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?

I’m immensely fond of Diogi.  He’s is your typical Cape Cod mutt, part yellow Lab, part whatever (given his size, perhaps Great Dane). He is loyal and well-meaning, but he is not particularly intellectual. The only commands he responds to are “shut up” (on occasion), “sit” (on occasion), “stay” (almost never), and “go find Helene” (always). And, oh yes, “sic ’em.” Don’t ask.

On the other hand, his emotional intelligence is impressive. If you are feeling blue, Diogi is exactly what you need. First, he will lay his big head in your lap until you smile just a little bit, and then he will take you out for a nice long walk to cheer you up.  It never fails.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?

The series takes place in Fair Haven, a small town on Cape Cod nestled around the shores of Crystal Bay.  In the summer, it is gloriously beautiful, but during the holidays, it’s downright charming. 

Here’s how Sam describes it in AN EGGNOG TO DIE FOR: “There was something magical about a small New England town like Fair Harbor over the holidays. Pine garlands looped along white wooden fences, candles shining in the windows of four-square captain’s houses, wreaths with big red bows on the front doors of modest Capes, little wreaths with smaller bows on the dormer windows—it never changed, and it never failed to lift my heart.”

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?

Yes. I’d like to thank all the readers who have written to say how much they enjoy my part in the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries. In the words of one reader, “Helene is a wise friend and always knows when you need a glass of wine and a hot bath!” If that isn’t the definition of friendship, I don’t know what is.

Thank you for answering my questions, Helene, and good luck to you and your author, Amy Pershing, with An Eggnog to Die For, the latest book in the Cape Cod Foodie mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Helene and her author, Amy Pershing by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook and Instagram pages. You can also sign up for her newsletter here.

The novel is available at the following online retailers:

Amazon – B&N   – Kobo – Google Play – IndieBound 

About Amy Pershing: Amy Pershing, who spent every summer of her childhood on Cape Cod, was an editor, a restaurant reviewer and a journalist before leading employee communications at a global bank. A few years ago she waved goodbye to Wall Street to write full time. An Eggnog to Die For is the second of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries featuring Samantha Barnes, a disgraced but resilient ex-chef who retreats home to Cape Cod where she finds herself juggling a new job as the local paper’s “Cape Cod Foodie,” a complicated love life, a posse of just-slightly-odd friends, a falling-down house, a ginormous puppy and a propensity for falling over dead bodies. Kirkus Reviews gave An Eggnog to Die For a starred review, saying, “A delightful sleuth, a complex mystery, and lovingly described cuisine: a winner for both foodies and mystery mavens.” A Side of Murder, the first of the Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, which Elizabeth Gilbert called “the freshest, funniest mystery I have ever read,” was the first book in the series.  The third, Murder Is No Picnic, will be published in May 2022.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Debonair in Death

Today Jessica Fletcher is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Debonair inf Death, the latest novel in the A Murder, She Wrote mystery series.

Welcome, Jessica. 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.

My name is Jessica Fletcher and I am a school teacher turned mystery writer. Murder, She Wrote, Debonair in Death is book #54 in the series. When Coreen the manicurist at Loretta’s Beauty Parlor is accused of murdering a local merchant, I cannot stand by and see injustice done. While Loretta and I are trying to get Coreen’s name cleared, life gets more complicated because my old friend, MI6 agent Michael Haggerty, is discovered breaking into the dead man’s house.

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?

Naturally, I get a say. Just look at the cover, it clearly says, “by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran”. Do you see whose name comes first?

How did you evolve as the main character?

I was fortunate enough to be selected as the main character for the television show Murder, She Wrote which debuted in 1984. A few years later the first Murder, She Wrote book was published. It seems I have a knack for stumbling over murders and an even great knack for solving them so I have become popular with television viewers and readers alike.

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?

I love sharing the storyline in Murder, She Wrote, Debonair in Death with old friends, such as Seth Hazlitt, Mort Metzger, Michael Haggerty and the ladies at Loretta’s Beauty Parlor. There is a great level of trust with people I have known for a long time. But I must confess I also enjoy sharing stories with new friends.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?

It is home. I am always happiest to be at home in the small coastal town of Cabot Cove, Maine surrounded by longtime friends and familiar places. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?

I would like to thank the many viewers and readers who have kept the Murder, She Wrotefranchise alive and well for nearly forty years. I hope we continue to be friends for many years to come.

Thank you for answering my questions, Jessica, and good luck to you and your co-author, Terrie Farley Moran, with Debonair in Death, the latest book in the A Murder, She Wrote mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Jessica and her co-author, Terrie Farley Moran by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook page.

The novel is available at the following online retailers:

 Amazon –  IndieBound    Barnes and Noble

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About the authors: Terrie Farley Moran is co-author, along with Jessica Fletcher, of the Murder, She Wrote series. Terrie is also the author of the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy novels, and is co-author of Laura Childs’ scrapbooking mysteries. Her short mystery fiction has been published in numerous venues. Terrie is a recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards.

Posted in Archives, November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

Today Mia Carina is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder, the latest novel in the Catering Hall mystery series.

Welcome, Mia. 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.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder is the third book in the Catering Hall Mysteries.  In the book, I’m over-the-top busy with a full schedule of events at our family business, Belle View Banquet Hall, which my dad Ravello and I run as a legit business for the not-always-so-legit Boldano Family. Parties scheduled include an out-there Nativity-themed first birthday party and a Sweet Sixteen for a teen drama queen. But my personal life is even more challenging. My estranged mother is trying to worm her way back into my life, and my friend Jamie has discovered a shocking secret about his past. And then of course, there’s a murder or two. Happy holidays, huh?

Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too? We work together but to be honest, the writer has me on a pretty short lease.

How did you evolve as the main character? I moved back to New York from Florida after being considered a person of interest in my cheating husband’s disappearance. A boat turned up with the body of his mystery in it, but no Adam. He was assumed lost at sea, so I was off the hook. But it left me with relationship PTSD. Zero interest in dating again. Jamie and I started thinking about it but we’re better off as friends. There’s a new guy working for us, Shane. And between us, I am totally crushing on him. Shhh! Don’t say anything!

Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them? Have I mentioned Shane? I also getting a kick out of my coworker Cammie, who’s committed to coasting on the job. But Cammie working at ten percent is more than most people working at a hundred. And I love my nonna Elisabetta, who lives downstairs from me in our two-family house.

What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story? You mean physically or emotionally? Physically, it’s almost Christmas and Astoria is decked out in Extreme Christmas Decorations. The old ladies in the neighborhood are duking it for Best Decorated Block and the competition is intense, lol.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book? It’s funny! If you like reading about holiday parties, bodies showing up in outdoor décor, and an animatronic Tony Benne-Santa decoration that croons Christmas songs – this is the book for you.

Thank you for answering my questions, Mia, and good luck to you and your author, Maria DiRico, with It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder, the latest book in the Catering Hall mystery series.

Readers can learn more about Mia and her author, Maria DiRico by visiting the author’s website and her Facebook and Chicks on the Case pages. You can also follow her on Twitter.

The novel is available at the following online retailers:

 Amazon – B&N – Kobo – IndieBound 

About Maria DiRico: Maria DiRico is the pseudonym for Ellen Byron, author of the award winning, USA Today bestselling Cajun Country Mysteries. Born in Queens, New York, she is first-generation Italian-American on her mother’s side and the granddaughter of a low-level Jewish mobster on her father’s side. She grew up visiting the Astoria Manor and Grand Bay Marina catering halls, which were run by her Italian mother’s family in Queens and have become the inspiration for her Catering Hall Mystery Series. DiRico has been a writer-producer for hit television series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and her first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection. She’s a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines, and previously worked as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart, a credit she never tires of sharing. A native New Yorker who attended Tulane University, Ellen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Posted in November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments