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.

Meet Mr. Benedict Brown!

Benedict Brown

Benedict orginalates from South London, but now lives in Burgos, north of Spain with his wife and daughter. He writes two cozy mystery series; the Izzy Palmer Mysteries and the best selling Lord Edgington Investigates series. He has a love of crime fiction an a MA in Creative Writing–a great combination that his reads get to enjoy. You can find out more about author #15 in our anthology by stopping by his website.

A Corpse Wrapped in Tinsel                                     by Benedict Brown
When (semi-)famous detective Izzy Palmer is dragged along to a London department store to see Santa by her eccentric best friend, she expects whiny kids and bossy parents, not a dead Mrs Claus wrapped in tinsel. Charged with getting to the truth, Izzy must face off against caroling police officers, the most handsome Father Christmas south of the North Pole and three elves who all claim to be the killer. It’s not the Christmas present she was hoping for, but at least this case comes with a free toy!!

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

When I was about five years old, I got up one morning and there was a ring at the door. I opened it to find a small brown bear with a card saying, “My name is Bertie, please look after me.” I have done my best ever since, and he’s still with me as an adult. When I was a kid, I thought this was the most magical thing that had ever happened, and I plan to recreate the moment for my three-year-old daughter before long.

What would be a great gift for your character?

This is the second Christmas in a row when Izzy Palmer has ended up investigating a murder, though she’s supposed to be enjoying the holiday. I think the best Christmas present for her would be a corpse-less Christmas.

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

Like Izzy, I grew up in a fairly unremarkable suburb in South London. So far in the series, she’s been out to the countryside, over to Spain (where I now live) and flown up to Scotland for Christmas. But London remains the anchor point of the series. For me, in terms of culture, it’s one of the richest cities in the world and I never get bored of going back. That makes it a great place to set murder mysteries and that’s why book four in the series, “A Corpse in London” is a love letter to my home city.

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

This novella is a standalone which follows my most recent novel, ‘A Corpse in a Quaint English Village’. It references a few of Izzy’s other cases, without giving any mysteries away. It’s the fourth Izzy Palmer novella I’ve written and the eleventh entry in the series overall. The only real spoiler in the story is that, unlike in the very first book when Izzy had a job that she hated, she is now a not very well-paid private detective. I have another series set in the nineteen twenties called “Lord Edgington Investigates…” and I managed to link them a tiny bit in the last Izzy novel, but it’s not too easy when they’re set one hundred years apart.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? I get a lot of comments from people saying that The Izzy Palmer Mysteries should be made into a TV show and people have strong opinions on who would be the best actress for the part. The most common name is Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag. It would take someone with good comic timing who is around thirty, can speak with a British accent and is very tall and, so I’m glad I’m not casting it myself!

It’s time to Meet Rosie Meleady

Rosie Meleady

Award winning Rosie is the author of two series; A Rosie Life in Italy, the story of her adventures renovating an derelict villa in Italy, and the Deadly Wedding Cozy Mystery. You can follow Rosie on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with her adventures.

Jingle Bones    by Rosie Meleady

Irish wedding planner Daisy Dell is an international expert on everything weddings, especially in Italy. But sometimes, a dash of murder and mystery finds its way past her up the aisle.

When asked to organise a simple Christmas wedding in Puglia, Daisy was not expecting a weekend of mayhem and possibly murder. Not only have the wedding funds gone missing, but also the Basilica’s most precious relics… Santa Claus’s bones.

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

When I was 9 years old, I asked for a gold bike and Santa (my mum) bought a second hand one and sprayed it gold. I was so happy Christmas morning even though the paint was still sticky! I also got the game ‘Guess Who?’ from my older sister that year and I loved that game, I felt I was being a detective! I still do like games like that. My daughter bought me ‘Code Names’ last Christmas and it really gets the brain juices working, I love it.

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

I visited the Basilica in Puglia, where the story is based, about 5 years ago. There was a full orchestra and choir practicing for the feast of St Nicholas and it blew me away. I had a great guide who told me so many stories attached to the place that I wanted to find a way to combine them into a fictional story someday, and this was the perfect opportunity.

Speaking as your character, what is your favorite thing about Christmas?

As an event planner I’m at parties 3 times a week most of the year so I like the silent nights of Christmas. I like being on my own and being completely cut off from the world without having to take calls or do work. Just me and Shadow (my dog), curled up on the sofa reading and drinking thick Italian hot chocolate.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I still watch it every Christmas morning. I just realized I describe some of the characters in my book ‘Jingle Bones’ as Oompa Lumpas, so this is a very fitting question!

How does this story connect with your other books or series? All the books in my Deadly Wedding Cozy Mystery series are based in different regions of Italy. I moved from Ireland to Italy three years ago and I love discovering quirky historical facts about places I visit so I try to weave some of these into my stories. As my main character is a wedding planner, all my mysteries have a wedding being planned in the background. I have been a destination wedding planner for 20 years, so I drop in some fun stuff that I’ve experienced at weddings too, as sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!

Have you gotten you copy of the Anthology yet? Don’t forget-it dissapears after the holidays, so don’t miss out!

Click to get order your copy!

Meet Rachel Neuberger Reynolds

Raychel writes Cozy Mysteries. They have also been labled “surfer noir”. Her books can be found on Amazon and are part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Rachel Neuberger Reynolds

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Favorite vacation spot: It’s a toss-up between Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean, where my mysteries are set, and Malta. If I had to pick one of the three, I’d pick the beach. But what I’d most love is a combination of all the options: a beach-side cabana at a luxury resort with a pool not far behind me to cool off.

Everyone takes a beach bag with them, what is in yours?
I’ve tried to pare down my beach tote these days. My essential is a paperback book, that has hopefully fallen into the water at some point, giving it that crinkly beach feel. Besides that: 2 notebooks (one for my current project and one for everything else), 2 bottles of suntan lotion (30 SPF for me and 70 for Mr. Reynolds), 2-3 pair of sunglasses (variety is the spice of life), a little cash, a few credit cards, and a lip gloss I will never use. Oh, and both headphones and a small Bluetooth speaker – I don’t exist without music.

Would your book/series be perfect for the beach?
Is my series perfect for a beach read? Absolutely. The setting is a Caribbean island (very reasonably priced – check it out!). I won’t ruin anything to say that I’ve got a murder in on a snorkeling expedition, as well as a beautiful local found dead at a surf camp. There are surfing detectives, suspicious charter boat owners, and a marine biologist love interest who runs scuba expeditions. You won’t find that in New York City!

Red Frog Beach Mystery Series

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting?
I love this question. As well as being an author I work with people as a creative coach, often helping people get through the first draft of their first book. Some rules I have

  1. The worst thing you can do it go back to keep revising the first few chapters until you think they are perfect. It’s not going to be. It’s a dangerous cycle and you probably won’t finish the book. Write the bad version (you won’t think it’s so bad when you reach the end).
    1. Writing is rewriting.
    1. If it’s boring you, it’s boring everyone. Harsh, but as a fellow mystery writer you might agree with this one!

What’s the most challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I have the opposite problem, in that it’s easier for me to write men. Someone once asked me how I get into the male mind as accurately as I do. I said, “I write them just like I’d write as any person.” I think growing up in Boston where many men have a strange kind of wise-cracking attitude, partnered with the drama of working on Broadway for fifteen years, lends itself to big and bold characters.

How do you select the names of your characters?
This is also a fun question for me. It’s not an easy one for me. For main characters, I need to name that gives me no association with anyone I know. I’ve been known to look at lists of baby naming articles online to pick interesting names. For secondary and terciary characters, I do throw in my friend’s names in respect for their friendship and help. Some names in the Red Frog Beach named after friends are Detective McDonough, Hywel the surf camp instructor, and the Paone Institute which is the last name of a friend named Lawrence. And to be a little beachy, I do sometimes grab names from the movies Gidget (1959) and Where The Boys Are (1960). In a different series I’m working on I’ve taken the names Tuggle and Dill right out of the latter one. If that’s not beachy I don’t know what is!

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Watch for Rachel’s newest book in the series, The Poison Garden (Baby I’m Blue), to be release in early December!

The Sister Station books, Now Arriving and Now Departing, are available as a box set September 20th!

Meet Victoria Hamilton

Victoria Hamilton

I’m so pleased to introduce another Victoria! (When I was in elementry school there were 6 of us in my class!)

Victoria Hamilton writes traditional cozy mysteries and historical mysteries. You can find her books in most outlets and you can find Cast Iron Alibi on Amazon, Amazon Canada and Barnes & Noble.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort or Poolside?
I love the beach! I have been a camper my whole life and spent my childhood at campgrounds along the Canadian side of Lake Huron.

Everyone takes a tote back with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
A tote bag? Just the usual stuff inside, I suppose: sunscreen, comb, and of course a book! I love swimming and sand castle building, but once I’ve had my fill then a beach day is the perfect time to read a good book.

What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story or the characters?
The Cast! Cast Iron Alibi (Vintage Kitchen Mystery #9)
celebrates a girl’s week gone horribly wrong… you know, when you get together with people you’ve known for years, but something is off? That’s what happens to Jaymie Leighton Müller when she spends a couple of weeks with her college friends at her trailer and cottage on an island in the middle of the St. Clair River, Michigan. It’s a great beach read for the setting (the gals spend a day in Grand Bend, Ontario, a party town on Lake Huron and enjoy a river boat cruise), but the book also explores how life changes our party friends from college… and of course there’s a murder!  

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What does writing success mean to you?
Success means I can afford to continue writing… that is the best, being able to support myself with my books. Thank you, readers; I appreciate it so much.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written many many books. I haven’t counted, but I’m thinking it’s more than forty now. With so many, there is not one clear favorite, but I have to say, a favorite is Vintage Kitchen Mystery #6, Leave It to Cleaver, in which Jaymie (the main character) gets married, but before that happens solves a mystery that involves her older sister Becca back when she was a teen, in the 80s! The flashbacks and present day mixture was fun to write, and the book had a very satisfying ending for Jaymie and her new husband, Jakob, and Jakob’s little girl, Jocie.

When writing a series, how do you keep things fresh for both your readers and also yourself?
I can see how that may be a problem for writers, but I haven’t suffered it yet. There are always new ideas, and I find that I’ll be working along on another series and something – a news article, or something on TV, or something I read – will start an idea in my head that leads to a plot for one of my other series. This happened recently. I’m getting toward the end of writing Vintage Kitchen Mysteries #10, A Calculated Whisk; it is consuming me right now. But still… I saw something about an author in the 1700’s who moved to Bath, England and started a school; before I knew it I had an idea budding for the next Lady Anne Addison Historical Mystery. The point is, writers need to pay attention when those ideas occur and write something down!

Can you give us some insight into what makes your main character tick?
Jaymie Leighton Müller is more complicated than people around her imagine; she appears to be a mild-mannered sweet woman, who loves to cook and cares about local history. But she also has a strong streak of independence, learns her lessons well when she is hurt, and feels strongly about social issues, enough to say something even to those she loves. That – speaking her mind – is hard to do when it is to an elder she respects, but she still finds a way to make her feelings known.

What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
It can never be, but she happens to be my favorite mystery author, the late, great Sue Grafton. In a way she has been my mentor, because I feel I learned so much just by reading and rereading her Kinsey Millhone series.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
All I ever wanted to be was a writer; I’ve been more fortunate than most in being able to do it.

How do you select the names of your characters?
There are certain rules most writers follow when writing novels: don’t have more than one character with the same first letter in their name… it is confusing to the readers (I’ve broken that many times, sometimes to my dismay!); don’t have too many characters; don’t give someone a last name that is also a first name.

I broke that last rule, and to my chagrin it caused me problems. One of my characters in my Merry Muffin Mystery Series is named Dewayne Lester, and from the beginning I accidentally called him Lester on occasion. Well, in the latest Merry Muffin book, Double or Muffin, I ended up calling him Lester throughout and neither I nor my editor noticed! It took an eagle-eyed reader to notice and write to me, and I appreciate it. My editor is correcting it. Other than that, I try to not make names too difficult to pronounce or read; I don’t want to put stumbling blocks in the way of smooth reading. Also… the name has to fit the person.

I would be interested in hearing from readers; are there names you wish a writer would use?

Pre-Order, Sept. 21 release!

Victoria’s books are a delight, and I’m sure you will enjoy them. Summer is winding down, so grab a copy and catch up!

I had a novella release! Novella #2 in the Tattletale Cafe Mysteries

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Meet Jane Kelly

Follow Jane Kelly on Facebook

Jane Kelly writes books about amature sleuths, filled with a touch of humor, both in cozy and traditional mysteries. Her books can currently be found on Amazon, in both Kindle and print.

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Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort or Poolside?
Definitely a beach person. My favorite spot is on a low chair reading while the small waves wash back and forth over my feet. Favorite time of day is after the crowds go home.

Everyone takes a tote back with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
I long for the days when I put on a workshirt with two pockets and took a chapstick, a pack of tissues and my keys in one pocket and sunscreen in the other. I carried my book and towel. As I write this, I am thinking maybe I can get back to those days although I should add a beach chair (low for reading in the shallow water) with a cup holder and a pouch on the back. I don’t want to bring the entire house with me.

What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story or the characters?
The books are set in New Jersey Shore towns so that makes them appropriate reading for any beach but, beyond that, they are light and humorous. They are not quite cozy. I call them polite mysteries. No blood. No sex. No violence. At least on screen.

What inspired you to start writing?
Like a lot of writers, I started with a mystery because I wanted to kill someone. In my first Meg Daniels book, her boss gets killed. I also liked the idea of creating a series and getting to know a character. A friend of a friend unknowingly gave me encouragement. I had never met her when we were both at the same lunch. After a bit, she turned to me and asked, “Are you a writer?” When I said, “No,” she said, “You should be.” That comment was inspiring.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Be persistent. Take yourself seriously. Prepare. My first agent told me I had the best rejection letters he ever saw. At that point, I did not persist. I thought I’d had an interesting experience that was over. A mistake.  A major editor said he would read anything else I wrote. Did I write something to submit? No. A mistake. Did I attend conferences or take classes to learn more about the market and my craft? No. Another mistake. Persist.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
I have about a half-dozen, half-written books that I would love to have time to get back to. I recently found two books that I had completed in the 1980s. I was thrilled to discover I did not know “who dun it.” I started updating a mystery where the heroine gets to live a fantasy of mine: being one of the guests assembled in a luxurious drawing room in the middle of a stormy night for the unveiling of a murderer. I got halfway through the revisions when higher priorities called. I hope to go back soon.

How do you select the names of your characters?
I go all out selecting character names. I always look back to the people who named them. Usually, a character’s parents are not in the book, but the name they picked says a lot about them and their expectations for their child. If the character has acquired a nickname that says more about what they actually became. Or, if they named themselves what they want to become. Of course, I always check the Social Security database. One of my favorite ways I ever identified the age of a historical character depended on data from Social Security. “Most women named Edna were at least twenty years ahead of me in life. As were the Mildreds, the Ethels and the Mabels. The Kathys, Susies and Pattys were the ones who on most days poured into the driveway behind my house to play. There were no Madisons, Kaylies, or even Kendras yet. I hailed from the Helen, Betty and Margaret generation although my parents had chosen to give me the rather plain, or as they called it classic, name of Katherine.”

Do you base your characters real people?
Never. A character may be inspired by someone but each character develops into their own person that, in the end, has very little in common with the original individual. I started writing mysteries because I wanted to kill my boss. In the end, I killed a boss, a far more sinister man than my boss ever was. I used to keep a list of quirks I observed thinking I would assign them to characters. I never did. The characters developed their own quirks. They really do take over.

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I love the new term Jane has used for her books~polite mysteries! Besure to check out her Pinterest Boards as well as her books!

Meet Erin Scoggins

I absolutely love how Erin discribes the genre she writes in! “I write contemporary Southern cozies. Think Steel Magnolias with a body count.” If that doesn’t make you want to pick up one of her Wedding Crasher books, then you need to come to the south for a while and absorb some southern atmospher. Erin’s ebooks are available in Kindle Unlimited and her paperback books are available wide. You can follow Erin on Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads and Bookbub.

Book 1 in the Wedding Crasher series

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort, or Poolside?
The beach! I’m lucky enough to live in North Carolina, and we have some of the best beaches around. Park me on the sand in the Outer Banks with my hunky hubby for a weekend, and I’ll be a happy woman.

Everyone takes a tote bag with them when they head out for a day at the beach. What’s in yours?
I always have sunscreen, trail mix, and at least two books. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than running out of things to read before your lounge time is up.

What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story, or the characters?
When I’m on vacation, I want books that will help me escape. That means they’ve got to make me laugh, and they have to transport me somewhere delightful.

My Wedding Crashers series is set in the fictional town of Flat Falls, North Carolina. It’s a quirky beach town filled with characters you’d like to have as friends. It has all the good stuff we like about vacation: food, family, and adventure. And who cares about all those pesky dead bodies when you get to attend a wedding on a pirate ship?

What time of day do you usually write?
I’ve got three kids who always ask for snacks as soon as I sit down to write. And then there’s the hundred-pound dog who thinks keyboard time means snuggle time, so he crawls under my feet like an ottoman.

I’d like to say I get up and write every morning at seven and write happily until noon. In the real world? I’ve written in the carpool line, hiding in the bathroom, and on the back of a takeout menu while I was waiting in line to pick up food that I didn’t have time to cook. Stories come when they’re ready, and I just have to do the best I can to catch them.

Book 2

What does writing success mean to you?
I’m on cloud nine when I hear from a reader that I’ve helped them escape from their struggles for a few hours. When somebody invites me into their life and says my books have made them laugh and brought them joy, that’s success.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I grew up shucking corn and eating boiled peanuts with my grandparents in rural North Carolina. There is nothing better for a Southern writer’s inspiration than visiting a Piggly Wiggly in the sticks on any given Sunday. The rural South is full of wonderful, hilarious people who love to tell a story, and it’s easy to find inspiration if I just slow down long enough to pay attention.

What are the key themes and messages in your books?
I love to write stories about characters who think they’re hopeless. Maybe they’ve lost a job or had a heartbreak, or maybe they’re at a crossroads and just feel lost.

The best stories are about the beautiful ways we put ourselves back together again after everything falls apart. They’re about redemption, joy, and figuring out where you belong.

Pre Order Book 3 now, releases August 9, 2021

Erin’s answer to when she writes sounds like so many authors I know, myself included! And every writer knows, you have to get the words down, no matter what the obsticles. I’m ready to head to the pool, but I’ll be downloading one of Erin’s books before I go. It looks like weddings can be funny – and deadly!

Victoria LK Williams

Meet Amy Vansant

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

This is the perfect weekend to catch up with your reading, and Amy Vansant will fit the bill nicely. Amy writes Urban Fantasy and Romatic Comedy and of course, Mysteries. I’ve read her Pineapple Port Mysteries and thought they were wonderful and comic. You can find all of her books on Amazon Kindle.

  1. Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort or Poolside?
    My house since I moved to Florida! I’m a walk to the beach and have a pool so I have all the bases covered now. 😊

Everyone takes a tote back with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
I walk on the beach but I don’t sit for long. I like to people and dog watch… but I guess a water and something to read in case I get bored.

  1. What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story or the characters?
    Both my Pineapple Port Mysteries and Shee McQueen Mystery-Thrillers take place in Florida near the beach!

What inspired you to start writing?
I just always did, even when I was very little.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting?
Keep writing! The only way you’ll ever make money is to keep writing more books… I got distracted making a living for a decade and stopped during that time. I could kick myself for it.

What time of the day do you usually write?
I get up early, so usually 4am to 6am unless I get distracted by work… which happens a lot…

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written a little over twenty… Generally the latest is my favorite because you get a little better at what you do every time you do it!

Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
I cleverly hid where I live, Jupiter, FL, as “Jupiter Beach FL” in the Shee McQueen novels. The location of the Loggerhead Inn, where my characters live, is my house (except it is on the Intracoastal Waterway and I’m not – need to sell a lot more books for that house!)

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer!

Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter?
Is that even a question? SUMMER!!

Tea or coffee
Both, but if I had to choose one forever, coffee.

Morning person or Night owl
MORNING. I don’t function at night at all. When the sun goes down, I start to fall asleep… and I love how quiet mornings are.

Do  you base your characters real people?
Often. If you’re a neighbor, be careful…

What’s the most challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Probably things I don’t even realize I’m getting wrong. LOL

How do you select the names of your characters?
I go to baby name websites or I run a contest to have my readers pick a name. For some reason if left to my own choices I fall back to the same six names or so. I have no imagination for names apparently.

Amy is also a fellow Sister in Crime, and we belong to the same chapter. I can assure you she is just as funny in person!

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Victoria LK Williams