New Year, New Beginnings…

At the beginning of January, usually on the 1st, everyone thinks about what they want to do differently from the year before. Maybe it’s to take better care of your health, start a new hobby, finish a project that’s been on hold for a long time, or start something completely new.

In this next series of author interviews, that is just what the creators have done to their characters; set them on a new beginning or adventure. If we’re lucky, this will be a series and we can watch the characters and story progress through multiple books.

So as you begin your new year, give yourself some reading time and watch what these have authors plan for us….


@bemodi on Instagram

Babs to her friends, this writer is from Nova Scotia, where she lives with her husband and rescued cat and dog. She has worked in journalism, public relations and radio. Her passions, other than fiction writing, include sewing (she gives lessons too!) and writing about sewing.

Babs’ new book is up for preorder and is the start of a new series! I can’t wait to read Crafting for Murder, where she combines her love of sewing, dogs and mystery into this fun new series..

Seamstress, crafter, and empty-nester Valerie Rankin has plans to open a crafter’s co-op that will put Gasper’s Cove, Nova Scotia on the map. One month before opening day, she still has to pin down a venue, patch up the family business, iron out corruption in the town council, and unravel why anyone who tries to help her ends up dead. With the help of her Golden Retriever, an ex-con who loves cats, and a community of first, second, and third cousins, she just might pull it off.

Who is your protagonist?
The central character in my Gasper’s Cove Mysteries series is Valerie Rankin. She grew up on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia and is part of the same family that has operated Rankin’s General store for over a hundred years. Like many of her generation, Valerie left the community to go live in Halifax when she married. There, after unexpectedly becoming a single mother of three, she worked a series of jobs to support her family. The one she enjoyed most was as a sewing instructor. After her children had grown and flown, she returns to Gasper’s Cove to run a small sewing school in the family store. She also hopes to one day establish a co-op for the local crafters to sell what they make.

Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world?
The stories are set in the present and in Gasper’s Cove, a small fishing community on Gasper’s Island, connected to the mainland and the larger community of Drummond by a causeway. Here is a picture of the actual location, not far from where I live, on which Gasper’s Cove is based. This place, one where my family has connections, has a dreamy quality that makes me think it probably does contain Gasper’s Cove.

Is your book part of a series? If so, tell us about the series.
Valerie does, of course, establish her Crafter’s Co-op. The series is about how she and one small, almost forgotten community reinvent themselves. The challenges presented in each book call on the characters to rely on their own ingenuity and resourcefulness to move forward.

What has happened to propel your character into a “new beginning”?
Valerie really has run out of other options. Her grown children have left Halifax and gone on to their own lives. She is faced with a choice. Does she stay where she is, surrounded by the empty spaces they have left behind, or does she go back to the place where she was once truly happy– the small coastal town she grew up in? She’s trying to reconnect with who she once was.

Is your protagonist happy about this new beginning or resistant to it? 

This is the dilemma. Essentially, Valerie isn’t really trying to have a new beginning but to rewind life to the way it was, with the security she felt in a small, closed community. In fact, she even goes home to live in her aunt’s house, complete with its mid-century modern contents, taking residence in the past. However, the people she left behind have changed and grown. There is a place for her in Gasper’s Cove now, but it has to be a new place. She fights this reality and continues to try to look backwards for as long as she can. Valerie is slow to understand that her own nature and abilities will pull her forward if she likes it or not. Valerie wanted a quiet life. Instead, she is on her way to an interesting life.

Give the readers a hint of what’s coming for your character in future books.
This series has given me as an author, the opportunity to share the quirky history and culture of Nova Scotia. I have experienced much of what is in these books, and I know these characters well. As the series develops, I hope readers will enjoy sharing the ways in which ordinary people, like Valerie Rankin, in this odd corner of the world handle unpredictable events. Humor, community, and the ability to think outside the box, in an environment that doesn’t understand the concept of boxes, are key to how Valerie’s life develops, and I think hold the various mysteries together.

And by the way, I am really proud of Valerie. She underestimates herself but I never do.


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