Furry Friends and Side Kicks

Growing up, I was just country enough to know that spring time meant baby animals. There was always a litter of kittens safely hidden away by their mother, of puppy running around getting into trouble and chewing up anything within reach. But this was also the time for farm animals to be born, and the birds nesting in the trees were now busy finding food for the chicks that had hatched under their care.

So spring is the most natural time to begin this new series of author interviews. Side-kicks are as natural to a mystery as Watson is to Sherlock, or Beth and George are to Nancy. But there is a special side-kick that can steal our hearts, get into trouble, make us laugh and somehow be on hand to help solve the mystery. Yes, those are our furry Side-Kicks!

The authors in my interviews have not only shared about their books, series and answered my questions, but they have also included a passage from their books that introduces you to the special bond between pet and owner.

I hope you will enjoy the interviews and meeting the furry Side-Kicks that make our books that much more special.

Victoria LK Williams


New Beginnings #7


www. Rubyblaylock.com


Ruby Blaylock is from a small southern town and a country girl at heart. She loves to sit on the porch, sipping sweet tea with her hound dogs. Like any true southern, she love a bit of gossip and great food. She loves reading and reads to her kids when not writing. Ruby also writes the Carly Keen Cozy Mystery series, Hedgewood Sisters Paranormal Mysteries, Rosewood Place Mystery series and the Suburban Witch Mysteries.

A Brit of Trouble is the first book in a new series that will have the second book out sometime later this year!

A Brit of Trouble is all about new beginnings! Addie wants a completely new life, so she decides to build one in her father’s birthplace, the United Kingdom. She’s completely lost at first because she’s never even visited the UK before, but she’s willing to learn and ready to become a brand new woman.

Who is your protagonist?
Addison (Addie) Porter was born and raised in Georgia, but she’s British by descent (her father was born and raised in the fictional village of Little Wittling in England).

Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world?
They are modern day UK.

Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
It’s the first book in a brand new series! I’m hoping to have the second book out soon, sometime later this year!

What has happened to propel your character into a “new beginning”?
Oh, Addie has had a terrible break up! She was cheated on by a man who never wanted to settle down. When he finally chooses to settle down with someone else, Addie decides she’s had enough. She packed her bags and head to Jolly old England, hoping for a new life and a newfound sense of independence and strength.

Is your protagonist happy about this new beginning or resistant to it? 
She’s cautiously optimistic. Initially, Addie is afraid of everything, and feels lost in a sea of differences. She never even visited the country before she decided to move there! Eventually, she grows to love the small village and its residence. She especially loves her kooky Great Aunts!

I love Rub’s Carly Keen series, and can’t wait to start this new series!

Victoria LK Williams

Day 5 of 25 days of Christmas Books

Jacqueline Diamond



Sara, an artist who’s turning 50, returns to her hometown for Christmas to face her estranged sisters—and the man she left behind—with a stunning secret.

A compulsively readable tale of love and redemption packed with heartwarming surprises, this is the third book in the Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances series by USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond.

Where/when is your book set?
The book is contemporary, set in the fictional town of Rancho Allegro in Southern California.

Who is your main character?
My main character is Sara Matchett, an artist, the family rebel, and the youngest of three sisters. About to celebrate her 50th birthday, Sara returns to her hometown for Christmas, to face her sisters—and the man she left behind—with a stunning secret. The baby she gave up for adoption years ago is having her own baby, and wants her to be the grandma.

Why is Christmas so important to the story or you?
Christmas is a time for reconnecting and for celebrating what’s important in life. In Sara’s story, the holiday family gathering brings her together with sisters whom she believes rejected her, only to discover how deep their love runs, and a man she never imagined could belong to her.

Victoria LK Williams

Day 2b of 25 Days of Christmas Books

Eden Bloom

Eden Bloom (@edenbloomauthor) • Instagram photos and videos

Amazon.com: Eden Bloom: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Santiago and Ripple have been best friends for their entire lives, so when she needs a fake fiancé, he’s more than happy to help her out. What neither of them expect is for a fake relationship to spark real feelings with the magic of the holidays…

Where/when is your book set?
The fictional small town of Misty Falls, on an island in WA state.

Who is your main character?
Santiago & Ripple

Why is Christmas so important to the story or you?
The whole town comes to life with the Christmas spirit, and it is during the magical season that the two main characters come to realize that love is what they both really need.

Victoria LK Williams

Day 1 of 25 Days of Christmas Books

Meet Adriana Licio

Reader Magnet: https://adrianalicio.com/murderclub/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adrianalicio.mystery

In this 3 short story collection Christmas cheer abounds and snow falls all around as Etta and Dora, our sexagenarian amateur detectives and their lovable canine overlord snuggle down next to warm fires, puzzling over twists and turns a-plenty, enjoying songs, humour and friendships old and new. 

  Where/when is your book set?
The three stories are set in Italy, from Tuscany to Venice to Vipiteno in the Alps, stumbling across mystery, mayhem and possibly even a murder or two…

  Who is your main character?
I actually have a whole trio, two retired teachers from Southern Italy and one lovably stubborn Basset Hound, they feature regularly in “The Homeswappers Mysteries” series. 

  Why is Christmas so important to the story or you?
In this collection, one story is dedicated to Halloween (the one set in Tuscany), and two to Christmas. Being Italian, Christmas is such an important tradition, whether you are religious or not. It is the time when families get together, when children anxiously wait for Santa Klaus to appear at their door. It’s time to sing for carols; search to buy (or make) presents for family and friends; cook traditional food but mostly to let go of daily grind and embracing giving and togetherness…

In mysteries that I read or write, I love the juxtaposition of Good and Evil, and never as during Christmas time, the two come in such vivid contrast. Spoiler: I love challenging quests but mostly happy endings!

Victoria LK Williams

Welcome to 25 Days of Christmas Books

I am so thrilled to bring to you 25 days of Christmas Books. All new releases for 2022 and by authors you will recognize. Most are Cozy Mysteries, but there are a few Romance and Paranormal as well. There are even a few anthologies. Each of these authors has answered a few questions for you about their holiday writing and, of course, you find the links to their books.

I hope you will find plenty of stories to stock up on and read-they are so good you can read any time, and re-read next year too.

Merry Christmas and Ho-Ho-Happy Reading!

Victoria LK Williams

Fall Cozies!

There is that quiet time between the fun and randiness of Halloween and the excitement and anticipation of Christmas that somehow seems to get lost in all the noise. Fall, Autumn, Thanksgiving. But writers don’t forget, and I have some special books to bring your way for this sweet season of peace and reflection by several of my author friends. I hope you will enjoy them.

Lets start with Cathy Tully’s Chiro Cozy Mystery books; Misallignment and Murder & Fixation & Fraud.

Cathy has been featured in the blog before- her books are that good! You can follow her on Facebook, check out her Website and follow her series on Amazon.

Why did you choose to set your story at this time of year? When I started the series, I had thought about doing stories focused around holidays. I didn’t realize how POPULAR holiday cozy mysteries really were. The first one, Dr. Shine Cracks the Case was set at the Fourth of July. My sleuth, like me, is a chiropractor in a small town in Georgia. And also like me, the main character, Dr. Susannah Shine, isn’t from the town she lives in. She doesn’t come home to inherit a business. She starts one in a place and really loves, but she’s also a bit of a ‘fish out of water’. Her friends and her staff have to keep her grounded Southern traditions. I wrote Dr. Shine Cracks the Case after a decade in practice, where we actually were a part of the local business group and attended their festivals as a vendor to meet new people. What luck, right? I also had no idea how common it was to see plots that included local-festivals-run-by-the-business-group in cozies, especially the culinary cozies. I set that one on the Fourth of July because I wanted to have fireworks and watermelon at the festival. LOL. Our local festival was the weekend before Memorial Day. That just didn’t sound as good! So I moved it.

Anyway, after that, I asked myself what holiday comes next? My birthday didn’t count, so the next was Halloween, and then Thanksgiving. Since my cozies have a lot of humor and a lot of eating, both were no-brainers, even without mentioning pumpkin spice!

Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world? The second in the series, Misalignment and Murder, is set at Halloween. My series is a contemporary series, set in small-town Georgia, so it features a murder at a school Fall Festival. Like my Sleuth, Dr. Susannah Shine, I grew up in New York and fall festivals were not the big deal that they are here, so it was fun to write that scene where there are big bales of hay, games and a dunking tank! After that, Dr. Shine and her side-kick, Bitsy Long, find clues at a haunted house run by local teens, a civil war era cemetery and a Halloween costume contest for dogs and their owners, where Bitsy has entered a Bassett hound dressed as Sherlock Holmes—deerstalker cap and all. The third in the series, Fixation and Fraud, is set at Thanksgiving and features a murder that happens in the pecan orchard of Bitsy’s family, who owns a small farm. The investigation takes place around Thanksgiving and part of the plot is a dessert contest among Bitsy’s cousins and it includes dessert recipes, one of which–Double Chocolate Pecan Pie–I will be using this Thanksgiving. My mysteries also involve animals (non-talking), like Dr. Susannah’s office cat and her pal Henry the Betta fish. This book introduces a stray dog and a potbellied pig who become part of the team.

Who is your protagonist?
My protagonist is Dr. Susannah Shine, a former NYPD transit police officer, turned chiropractor. One of my best friend’s growing up on Long Island became a New York City Transit Police officer, so that bit of backstory I took from her life. I became a chiropractor and landed in a small Georgia town after chiropractic school, so that part is from my life. Everything attached to those backstories is made up, of course. The stories usually start in the office and then Dr. Shine and her staff (Larraine, her office manager and Tina, her assistant) and Bitsy follow the clues. These women have each other’s backs, and Dr. Susannah depends on them. They call themselves the Ladies Crime Solving Club, and they like to get together over meals to hash out the clues.

Is your book part of a series? If so, you tell us about the series.
The books are part of a series which is inspired by my life moving from NY to GA for chiropractic school and then opening a chiropractic practice in a small Georgia town which had peach orchards. There has been a lot of development in the decades since I moved here, and the peach orchards are sadly all gone, but they still exist in the novels, and in the name I chose for my small town, Peach Grove.

Does your book focus on the season, or is it more of a backdrop?
I guess it’s more of a backdrop. My series is not paranormal, so no one is talking to ghosts at Halloween. And in Misalignment & Murder, even though Apollo the Basset hound finds a clue, he doesn’t talk either. Fixation and Fraud happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the season is more of a backdrop in that one also. But with my Christmas Novella, the Purloined Poinsettia, I made more of an effort to focus on the Christmas Season.

How much research do you do to create your story, and how much do you include in your books?
It depends. A couple of my mysteries have poisoning as a subplot. In my education as a chiropractor, I’ve taken many classes on human physiology, nutrition and herbal medicine. So the transition to poisoning a character was fairly easy!

For The Halloween mystery, I had a lot of fun researching canine Halloween costumes! My original idea was a dog dressed as a hot dog, because, hilarious. Right? But then a couples costume with the dog as Sherlock Holmes seemed even better. For the Purloined Poinsettia, I spent a lot of time researching (if by researching you mean Googling images of) ugly Christmas sweaters. I own a few of those myself, so that was really eye opening. Some are in questionable taste!

For me, I’m very inspired by real life, especially things that have a lot of history behind them. For example, in the next town over from where I actually live, there is this old building that was a Feed & Seed store. I was only in it once as a Feed & Seed, and then it closed. Well, the building remained, and I would pass it every time I went to that town. When I began to write Misalignment & Murder, I decided that building would be a good place to put a haunted house. So I used the physical store as a template for the haunted house in the story, though everything about the haunted house and the cemetery behind it comes from my imagination.

A Word From Cathy; I enjoy writing seasonal stories because it adds flavor and texture to the plot. The characters all react differently to different holidays depending on their family history and their own likes and dislikes, so it’s a way to continue to explore the characters along with remembering what the temperature should be! LOL!

Victoria LK Williams

Boo! Meet Ileana Munoz Renfroe

Meet my fellow Sister In Crime member! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Ileana’s newest book and series, The Wisterious Witch; Wisterious Bay Cozy Paranormal Mystery. Ileana was born in Cuba, but grew up in New York City’s Washington Heights. (This is also the setting for her Rosa the Cuban Psychic Mystery series). Ileana loves to travel, read, and listen to music. You can find all her books on Amazon. You can find out more about Ileana on these sites:

Ileana Renfroe


Holiday Corner

Books Available



FB Author Page

Cozy Mystery Village

Now lets find out more about the Wisterious Witch….

What type of witch do you write (think Bewitch, Sabrina, Charmed, Hocus Pocus)?
That’s a good question Victoria. My main character, Alicia Whimblebright, is a combination of Bewitch and Hocus Pocus. She’s wholesome, with a hint of wacky sprinkled on making her a fun-loving character.

Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world?
The story is set in the fictitious town of Wisterious Bay during the month of October. The streets are adorned with skeleton garlands, orange twinkling lights, and Halloween props. 

Who is your protagonist?
My protagonist is Alicia Whimblebright. She’s in her mid-thirties, of Cuban descent, excited about her new ideas for the coming year, and overall satisfied with her life. That is until precisely at seven-thirty on the third of October.

Has she/he always known they were a witch? How did they discover their power?
Alicia grew up in a family of witches. Her mother was a witch as were her Tias. 

What sets your mysteries apart from other paranormal cozies?
My paranormal cozy mystery has elements of my Cuban culture which are unique. For the most part, my novels are somewhat bilingual as they include words both in English and Spanish throughout the dialogue. In addition, you’ll notice the quality of my main character’s voice, her tone, and, of course, several of her idioms.

How much research do you do to create your story, and how much do you include in your books? Or your story pure fantasy?
For all of my stories, I conduct some form of research. For A Wisterious Witch, I searched used bookstores for books, as well as the internet for anything related to Wiccan beliefs, spells, and beliefs. I even spoke to someone who believes in all things paranormal. 

Also, in this story, there is some fantasy as Alicia creates magical candles that are activated when lit by a witch or warlock. That obviously doesn’t happen in real life, although how interesting it would be if it did?

Do you feel the crimes committed in paranormal cozy are very different from a contemporary cozy?
Sometimes the crimes portrayed in paranormal cozy mysteries are different, especially if the murder weapon is a spell or a hex delivered by a witch or warlock. However, in my novel, the murder weapon is something you’d find in any household.

One more thing to keep in mind. A Wisterious Witch, not only has a wacky and fun-loving protagonist, but there’s also Felix, the talking skeleton, and Augustus, the banished reaper. They only come to life at night and boy, are they a hoot.


Victoria LK Williams