Meet Rhonda Hopkins

Rhonda Hopkins

Rhonda loves reading and writing a variety of genres. She’s written apocalyptic fiction, paranormal, nonfiction, and the cozy mystery series Witches of Whispering Pines She lives in a small Texas town and was an investigator for the state and county for twenty years.

You can find out more from her Author pages on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo and Smashwords. And don’t forget to click on Rhonda’s picture to go to her website and follow her on Facebook.

Which is more important to your book, the mystery or the love story?
Because the main genre for this series is cozy mystery, I think readers expect the mystery to be the most prominent. However, romance is a very close second. My main character, Charley, is a 16-year-old in high school, so of course, she and her friends are having fun learning about who they are and what they want in relationships with family, friends, and significant others.

What type of love story plays out in your book—friends to love, enemy to love, instant love, or something else?
Charley and Jackson have been best friends since kindergarten. They both have feelings for one another but don’t want to ruin their friendship in the beginning, so there is some hesitancy on both their parts. I really love how their relationship progresses throughout the series.

Does the love element cause problems for your protagonist?
Oh, it does. First, there are the feelings Charley develops for her best friend. Then relationships with others before they get together. But there is also the family witchy secret that she’s kept from Jackson all these years that is a whole other issue.

What inspired you to start writing?
My mom had me reading by the time I was three and I’ve never stopped. Writing stories just seemed to be the next step for me. I wrote my first short story in third grade about how the raccoon got his mask. Being my biggest supporter, my mom has kept it all these many years.
Once college and work came along, I didn’t have time for writing, and I didn’t create anything for a long while. However, a friend got really tired of hearing me say “One day, I’m going to have a book published.” She picked up a continuing education package from a local college and told me it was time. And it was.
Things just kind of fell into place after that. I signed up for a course and the instructor liked my writing so much she invited me to join a local workshop she attended. I haven’t stopped writing since and have followed my dream of writing different types of books.

What comes first, the plot or characters?
The plot is so very important, but for me, it’s the characters that are the major dynamic for any book. The characters need to be well-developed so that readers want to know about them and what’s happening in their lives. Without caring about the character and what they’re going through, it really doesn’t matter what happens, does it?
Usually, when I have an idea for a book, I come up with the characters first. I even spend a good amount of time researching names and their meanings to come up with just the right name for the main characters. By the time I finish writing a book, my protagonist is almost real to me.

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I found it surprising that one of the characters I love the most in my series is Charley’s great-grandmother, Ruby. She’s sassy and loyal to a fault. I have so much fun writing her scenes. Here’s one of my favorites so far:

Grandma Ruby was on her feet in a flash. Just because she was in her seventies, it didn’t mean she was fragile. Although only five-four, she was all-powerful, and she seemed to tower over the room. I gulped.

Grandma Ruby began pacing the floor, muttering to herself. When she turned her back to me, I nearly choked. Printed across the seat of her pants were the words, “Kiss My…” in ruby red.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one having trouble not laughing. Deanna let out a sound I never heard before in her effort not to do so. I clapped a hand tightly over my mouth, pressing my lips against my teeth. My shoulders heaved at the exertion of keeping the laughter inside.

 “Grandmother!” My mother yelled. “Where did you get those pants?” She shook her head. “Never mind. You need to change. Right now.”

“Now, you listen here, Missy.” Grandma Ruby pointed at my mother. “I don’t like being told what to do. Not by you or your sister.” Her glare swung toward Aunt Nadine and then back. “I’m your grandmother, not your child. Both of you should remember that. Or you can just…” She turned around, bent at the waist, and wriggled her behind.

Don’t forget to get your free copy!
Hope everyone stays warm this weekend–it’s going to be cold, even down here in South Florida. Perfect for cuddling and reading a Love-Kissed Cosy Mystery!

Victoria LK Williams


Meet Rimmy London

Rimmy London

The temperatures have dropped (even in FLORIDA!) and the wind is howling. Perfect for snuggling up with a blanket and a good book. A love-kissed cozy mystery in fact. And this next author has just the book.

Seaside Inn Mystery, book 1

Rimmy writes the Seaside Inn Mystery series, Mondello Beach Mystery series and sweet romance. She grew up in Northern California, with an imagination inspired by nature; the coast and the redwood forest. Maybe thats why you’ll find a strong heroine and “critters” in her cozies. To find out more, be sure to sign up for her newsletter at . And follow this author on Facebook at FB page @rimmylondon.

Let’s ask a few questions…

Which is more important to your book, the mystery or the love story?

They both are so important! But I have to say the mystery comes first. I need the reader to be sucked into the quest of figuring out what happened, and then the love story is a delightful bonus. J

What type of love story plays out in your book—friends to love, enemy to love, instant love, or something else?

The Secret of Poppyridge Cove has a beautiful story of an established couple who goes through a rocky time when one wants to follow their dream, but not the other. It pulls them apart, but only for a time. They find their way back to each other.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I live in a beautiful area where I can ride my horse down a little dirt road next to a creek behind my house. It’s definitely one of my favorite things, as well as any time I can spend with my husband and five kids. Game nights are so much fun.

I hope you are enjoying this series of author interviews. We have ten more to go, finishing at Valentine’s Day!

Until next time, keep warm and snuggle up with a good book,

Victoria LK Williams

In the mood for a little Romance–and Murder?

The fire is crackling, candles are lit. There’s soft jazz playing and wine is chilling in the glasses. It’s a perfect setting for romance. Until your protaganist gets caught up with solving a murder.

That’s what a love-kissed cozy is all about. Setting the mood, getting to know the characters and finding out who-done-it. Over the next several weeks, I will be introducing you to some masters of the love-kissed cozies. So take a sip of that wine, put your feet up and lets get to know our first author.

Meet Reagan Davis

Reagan Davis

Reagan Davis is the pen name for a wonderful woman who lives in Toronto with her family and lots of pets. She is an established knitwear designer, and you can clearly see this as you read her series, A Knitorious Murder Mystery. I have to admit, after reading book one, I was ready to pick my knitting needles back up! To find out more about her books, check out her Amazon Author page or her Website.

A small-town yarn store owner joins forces with her well-meaning, quirky friends and family to solve crimes. This charming cozy mystery series will entertain crafters, pet lovers, and foodies alike.
This series is for you if you like clever mysteries with a dash of humour, small town life, a hint of romance, lovable characters, and dogs and cats.

Now, lets get on with the interview…

Which is more important to your book, the mystery or the love story?
This depends on who you ask. My intention was to write satisfying mysteries for clever readers. I added humour and romance to give the characters depth and make them relatable. However, as the series progressed, readers would contact me more about the main character’s relationship than about the mystery itself. Or they’d mention the mystery briefly before delving into the personal relationships of the characters.

What type of love story plays out in your book—friends to love, enemy to love, instant love, or something else?
It’s kind of a second chance romance. Both characters were previously married, but not to each other. Both were understandably hesitant to jump into a new relationship and risk making the same mistakes. They’ve taken their relationship slow and made an effort to fit into each other’s already established lives and families.

Does the love element cause problems for your protagonist?
Yes. The lines between their personal life and his professional life become quite blurred sometimes and they feel like their relationship is a huge conflict of interest. However they are not antagonistic. She respects the professional boundaries of his job, and he respects and appreciates the unique perspective she provides about the people and situations in their small town. They see each other as members of the same team and support each other.

What inspired you to start writing?

Publishing a fiction book was on my bucket list. I love reading cozy mysteries, so this was the only genre I ever considered. I’d planned to write a three-book series and check o become a
published fiction author. But readers received the books with so much enthusiasm and support, that the series is now twelve books strong and I’m currently writing the first book in a spin-o series.

Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?
Yes! Whenever a character references a song title or artist in one of my books, it’s actually a reference to what I was listening to while writing that scene. I try to include a few in each book.

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
Once upon a time, in a previous career, I was peripherally involved in a real-life murder investigation when a client was investigated for his wife’s murder. (He was never charged).

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m an avid knitter and reader. I also love cozy mystery TV shows and movies.

Love-Kissed Cozy Mysteries

Victoria LK Williams
Check out my cozies and see if you can find the romance within the mysteries

Love Kissed Cozies

Mystery and romance just seem to be made for each other. But, trust me, Hallmark isn’t the only one who has caught on to the sweet trend. Cozy mystery writers are adding romance to their story lines, drafting fantastic books that keep you on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages to find out the answers. Who was the killer? Why was the victim killed? Will the lead character get that kiss?

Unlike romantic suspense, the love story in a cozy is kept clean. There is no sex, or if there is a hint of it, it’s behind closed doors, off the page. The romance is more “slow-burn”, sometimes continuing for an entire series before the protagonists finally proclaims their love.

Romance can develop in everyday settings or more exotic ones. Over the love of good food or the delight of a favorite animal. Mere mortals are the only characters falling for cupid’s arrow. Witches, Vampires, Ghosts and Fae are all showing their softer side. And it’s not only for the modern character either. Books set in a different period, or even traveling to another time are getting in on the lovefest.

Amazon even has a subcategory for cozy+romantic+mystery. And the covers are fantastic! They clearly depict the book is a mystery but add an extra element to make it more romantic. It might be the color, an image or even the title, but it’s clear this mystery is going to have something extra.

As a cozy mystery writer, I’ve always had a hint of romance in my books. I can’t help myself. I grew up reading Barbara Cartland and Agatha Christie! The writing was on the wall, lol!

To celebrate the season of love and Valentine’s Day, I will be interviewing a few cozy mystery authors who have added a romantic twist to their plotline. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to be a little romantic and curious. Be sure to share any romantic cozy mysteries you enjoyed.

Victoria LK Williams

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Meet R.B. Marshall, our fearless leader!

R.B. Marshall

When I say this author is our fearless leader, I mean it. The Cozy Mystery Anthology, Clues, Christmas Trees and Corpses, was her idea. Each of us writers were invite to join R.B. on this amazing journey of creating this book for your holiday enjoyment. The organization of all the behind the scene work was handled by R.B., and I have to confess, she made it seem painless. Through her endless efforts, you and I met some amazing authors! I can’t thank her enough. And she has even taken on our next anthology Mysteries, Midsummer Sun and Murders

R.B. Marshall is a native Scottsman, and loves her horse. She is much like her charactor, Izzy, in the Highland Horse Whisperer Mystery series. R.B.’s talents don’t stop with mysteries. She also writes  fantasy and clean romance/women’s fiction, as Roz Marshall and Historical Romance telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots, as Belle McInnes.

The Secret Santa Mystery                                         by R.B. Marshall
Security expert for a British bank by day, horse trainer at night, Izzy Paterson is a multi-tasking, dressage-riding computer whiz with an addiction to strong coffee and a penchant for CSI on Netflix. So, when the Secret Santa at her office Christmas party hands her a perplexing riddle, she just can’t ignore the mystery.

What was your favorite or most memorable gift you got as a child?

I was an adult, not a child, but I think the best gift I ever got was a dog! My sister gave me a rescue collie for my first Christmas after I got a house with a garden. Meg was a great companion and lived till she was 13.

If you had to describe your character in three words, what would those three words be?

Clumsy, geeky and a coffeeholic.

Your story is set in London. Why did you choose that as the setting for your book?

The finance capital of the UK is London, and my heroine, Izzy, works as a security analyst for a large bank, so it seemed logical to set it there. London isn’t the small town, which is more traditional for cozy mysteries, but even this large city is made up of lots of little ‘villages’ and communities – like the friends at the stables where Izzy keeps her horse, the members of her Pilates class, or her colleagues at work.

Can you share an enticing (50 words or less) snippet that isn’t in the blurb?

A minute later, lights appeared in the tunnel entrance, and I stepped forward, preparing to board the tube train. But suddenly, something pushed me from behind – hard. Hard enough to force me to the very edge of the platform.

Dimly, I heard the crowd behind me gasp, as I teetered on the concrete lip above the tracks, illuminated in the headlights of the approaching train…

How does this story connect with your other books or series?

The Secret Santa Mystery is the prequel to my Highland Horse Whisperer Cozy Mysteries series. It tells the story of how Izzy Paterson – a multi-tasking, dressage-riding computer whiz with an addiction to strong coffee – solves a perplexing mystery which threatens the livelihoods of everyone she works with. That leads, via a circuitous route, to her becoming a horse trainer in the Highlands of Scotland.