Monday, October 20, 2014

Guest Post by Miranda James

I am so thrilled to have  Miranda James a.k.a.Dean James with us today! Miranda is the author of The Cat in the Stack Mysteries and her newest Southern Ladies  mystery, Bless Her Dead Little Heart!

So glad you can be with us today Miranda.  I am a big fan of your books! Looking forward to what will be next!





Belles of Steel
By Miranda James


Every small Southern town has them – those indomitable women who run all kinds of organizations, from garden and bridge clubs to charitable agencies. Often they come from the town’s oldest families, generation after generation of club women who oil the wheels of the social engine. These were exactly the women I needed when I was working on Out of Circulation, the fourth book in my “Cat in the Stacks” series.
The story revolved around fund-raising efforts for the local public library – in this case, the fictional Athena (Mississippi) Public Library. I needed strong characters for the Friends of the Library Board of Directors, and I counted on disagreements among the members. Has there ever been a committee when members didn’t butt heads over even the most minute of details? Perfect starting point for conflict in a murder mystery, I thought.
In the spring of 2011 I attended the first-ever Daddy’s Girls Weekend, an event put together by my friend and fellow writer, Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney series. There I met two sisters, An’gel Ducote Molpus and Dickce Ducote Little, who inspired me to create their fictional counterparts, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote.
The fictional sisters are several decades older, unmarried, and childless, yet their characters owe much to their real-life inspirations. The Ducote sisters are the true grandes dames of Athena society, intelligent, hard-working, and intolerant of pretention and snobbery. The conflict between them and the character of Vera Cassity was an essential element of the story, and I had great fun with the scenes involving these characters.
Not long after I finished Out of Circulation I was working on ideas for a second series, one that would feature two older
women characters. After discussion with my agent and my editor, we settled on making the Ducote sisters the main characters. I loved them, my editor loved them, and evidently so did my readers. Thus was the new series born.
The first book in the “Southern Ladies” mysteries, Bless Her Dead Little Heart, is officially out on October 7th. The Ducote sisters are on their own as amateur detectives, because Charlie Harris and his family are in France on vacation. They do have the assistance of Diesel, the Maine Coon cat, who makes a cameo appearance in the book. An old sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, turns up on the sisters’ doorstep one August afternoon and claims that someone in her family is trying to murder her. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce know that Rosabelle loves being the center of attention, but this sounds a bit over-the-top even for this self-absorbed socialite. When Rosabelle’s family members follow her to Athena, however, the sisters quickly discover that one of them does have murder in mind.

I had great fun writing this book, letting the sisters have their way. I hope readers will have fun, too, getting to know Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce.
Some of Miranda's books:

The Silence of the Library (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 5) Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 1) Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)  Classified as Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery Book 2)

Read Humane File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)


Check out amazon for all of these great reads!



Dean James/Miranda James
Bless Her Dead Little Heart  (Berkley Prime Crime, Oct. 7, 2014)
Arsenic and Old Books (Berkley Prime Crime hardcover, Jan. 27, 2015)
www.catinthestacks.com



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up #41

Here's What happened this week:


Books I've read:

Stirring the Plot by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Legend of Sleepy Harlow by Kylie Logan

Coming this week:

Oct 20th- Guest Post- Dean James
Oct 21st- Book Review
Oct 22nd- Author Spotlight- Rosie Genova
Oct 23rd- First in a New Series- Double Booked for Murder
Oct 24th- Blog Tour- Murder in Reel Time
Oct 25th- Book Trivia hosted by Heather Webber

I Hope you will come and check it out this week!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Trivia hosted by Ritter Ames

It's time for trivia and today's lovely host is.. Ritter Ames!! The trivia is from her Organized Mysteries! Leave your answers here and the winner will be chosen tomorrow afternoon!!


Here we go! Good Luck.

1.So far in the Organized Mysteries series, the murders have occurred because of job Kate contracted to work for her organizational company. What is the name of Kate’s small business venture?
2.What is Meg always wondering about Lieutenant Johnson?
3.Why did the McKenzie family move to Hazelton, VT?
4.What is the occupation of Meg Berman’s husband, Gil?
5.In Organized for Murder, what beverage does the client (and first victim) share with Kate until they are interrupted?
6.Kate and Meg are best friends now, and work well together in the organization business, but Kate had never really had a close friend before. Why?
7.In Organized for Homicide, the suspect has a fledging small business of her own that is getting a lot of attention. What kind of business is it?
8.In Organized for Murder, Keith had organized the neighborhood kids in a game of street hockey. His and Kate’s daughters played the same position—but on opposite teams—as Keith played during his pro years. What position is that?
9.How many children does Meg have?
10.The Berman household is full of pets—two dogs, two cats, and a bearded dragon at the moment. What pet did Kate’s girls finally get in Organized for Homicide after bugging her for months to let them have a pet of their own?

The prize is:
Kate and Meg are the best kind of friends—they support each other while accepting the other’s flaws and failings. They are also moms who know advice shared makes life just that much easier. Because of their friendship—and because Kate is still getting acclimated to Vermont’s brisk weather—the giveaway is a pair of Organized for Homicide porcelain mugs, so the winner can share with her/his best friend, and they can both use the mugs to enjoy warm beverages in the upcoming cooler months. Also included will be a pair of magnetic clips to share—perfect for keeping shopping notes on the refrigerator, or for lists of phone numbers of favorite people.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies by Janis THornton

It's time for another great book to be spotlighted.  Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies will be the book you will not want to put down, Welcome Janis Thornton, so glad you can be here with us today!

DUST BUNNIES  large banner 640

Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies
by Janis Thornton

I liked Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies because it was a quirky and fun small town mystery… This mystery had a good story and very interesting plot twists, which made it an enjoyable read.
~Books-n-Kisses
DustBunniesDeadBodies4Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Publisher: Cup of Tea Books,
An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing (October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB
Print Length: 286 pages
ASIN: B00N34T6XM
Synopsis
When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.
Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.
Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.
Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .
My Review:
This first is a new series and sure to hit your funny spot.  You meet Crystal and Gertie, Crystal likes solving old cases and will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. This mystery will have you in from the beginning and will keep you reading. The characters are fun and likeable and the story line is captivating and moving. 
Meet the Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies Cast

When the casting call for my first cozy mystery novel, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies, was sounded, I was fortunate that so many wonderful, capable characters answered.
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce four of them … the stars.

Crystal Cropper
For the protagonist, I was looking for a Baby Boomer-aged, strong, independent woman, who was tenacious, smart, resourceful, charming (when it worked to her advantage), snarky (usually), and loyal to a fault. Naturally, I couldn’t cast myself, so I did the next best thing… Enter Crystal Cropper. Her resume boasts a few accomplishments I have only dreamed about—like acing her Ladies Kick-Ass Self-Defense course or working as a crime beat reporter for a major Southern California newspaper. She obviously has a knack for the written word and never hesitates to use the power of her pen to expose corruption in her tiny town. Oh, one other thing. If you value your life, never call her a “senior citizen” … Not. Ever.

Gertie Tyroo
Gertie Tyroo is one of those people you never really know. An octogenarian, she’s barely five foot tall, wears a leopard-print coat year-round, is never seen without her straw handbag clutched to her chest, and flies off the handle at the drop of a crumb—especially if it falls onto one of her freshly mopped floors. But there is another, deeper side to Gertie that even Crystal Cropper doesn’t know about. Yet. Even I am not at liberty to reveal too much about it, lest I want the men in black knocking on my door. And so, I’ll leave it at this: November 22, 1963. Dallas. Grassy Knoll.

Sheriff Verlin Wallace
Crystal’s prickly relationship with her life-long buddy, Verlin Wallace, started the instant they met in Mrs. Stroup’s kindergarten class at Elmwood Elementary more than 60 years ago. From day one, verbal sparring was how they communicated. Verlin is a career law enforcement officer, starting out as a deputy. He was elected to two terms as sheriff in the 1990s, and is currently in the middle of this third term. Verlin is Andy Taylor with a touch of Barney Fife. Despite his inordinate amount of puff and bluster, he is nonetheless well liked by Elm County folk. Verlin is good at his job, and few people know how much he actually detests performing criminal investigations. A confirmed bachelor, Verl doesn’t have the patience to put up with a
woman meddling in his day-to-day life; but if truth be told, there is one woman he’s always been partial to. He knows it’s crazy, but he harbors a speck of hope that in their old age, she’ll be partial to him too.

Kathryn Baxter
The beautiful and conniving Kathryn Lovejoy Kronkite Baxter was a widowed, disinherited, former private-duty nurse when she waltzed into the life of Elmwood High School football coach Jack Baxter in the spring of 1993, shortly after the death of his wife. Was it coincidence that only six months after Jack and Kathryn married, he suffered a massive, debilitating stroke, exactly as her previous husband had? The stroke left Jack a complete invalid, totally dependent on his over-protective, young wife. The stroke also left Kathryn free to pursue other interests, namely handsome younger men and possibly a key role in an illegal drug ring.

While space does not allow me to list them all, DB2’s supporting cast works hard to keep the story moving at a rapid pace, and the reader entertained and guessing to the very end. I think they do, but I’m prejudiced. I’ll leave the verdict up to you.

*  *  *

About This Author
Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County and Images of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small, Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut novel.

Author Links
Amazon author page:


Janis author photo2
About This Author
Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County andImages of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut cozy mystery.

Author Links
Website and blogwww.janis-thornton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janis.thornton.96?ref=tn_tnmn
New Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/janisthorntonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanisThornton
Purchase Link:
Amazon

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First in a New Series- Hannah Reed

It's time for another First in a New Series and this week's First was Just released on October 7!!


Book Description

 October 7, 2014
National bestselling author Hannah Reed brings mystery lovers the first in a brand-new series, in which a young writer finds herself swept up in a murder amidst the glens and lochs of the Scottish Highlands…

After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama…

The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror? 

If you haven't gotten this book yet check it out here:



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Author Spotlight- Gretchen Archer

Happy Wednesday!! Today's Spotlight goes out to the lovely Gretchen Archer!  Gretchen is an incredible author and friend! Check out her books today and you will be a fan too!



Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife, mom of three, grocery-list and mystery writer. She's the author of the Davis Way Crime Caper series.



Gretchen's books include:


Davis Way thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she lands a job as the fifth wheel on an elite security team at the fabulous Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. But once there, she runs straight into her ex-ex husband, a rigged slot machine, her evil twin, and a trail of dead bodies. Davis learns the truth and it does not set her free—in fact, it lands her in the pokey. Buried under a mistaken identity, her hot streak runs cold until her landlord Bradley Cole steps in. Make that her landlord, lawyer, and love interest. With his help, Davis must win this high stakes game before her luck runs out.


It’s Davis Way’s first slot-tournament season. And it may be her last.
Things are dicey at work. A personal assistant goes missing, a little old lady goes on a suspicious winning streak, and a Bellissimo executive goes gaga for Davis. She follows a disappearing slot-tournament player trail to the So Help Me God Pentecostal Church in Beehive, Alabama, then jumps headlong into a high stakes holy scandal.
She’s on a losing streak at home, too. Her days, nights, and dinners run together, as Davis juggles a revolving door of uninvited guests, namely her rotten ex-ex-husband, Eddie Crawford. And Bradley Cole thinks three’s a crowd.
The worst? Davis doesn’t feel so hot. Maybe it’s the banana pudding, or maybe it’s a little bundle of something else.
DOUBLE DIP. A reckless ride in the fast lane, and Davis Way can’t find the brakes.

And Coming on October 21st:

Double Strike is special—funny, unique, and I love Davis.” – Janet Evanovich
Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn’t a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don’t trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history: the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two.
Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three problems: She’s desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer.
Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three goals: Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for futureGaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good.
DOUBLE STRIKE. A VIP invitation to an extraordinary high-stakes gaming event, as thieves, feds, dance instructors, shady bankers, kidnappers, and gold waiters go all in. #Don’tMissIt
And if you haven't fallen in love with this series yet, get Double Whammy today. You will be hooked from the start! 












Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Guest Post - Leigh Perry

Hey all Leigh Perry Stopped by for a visit! We are talking with Sid today! Welcome Leigh and Sid! Thank you for being here.


Ask the Skeleton!
I recently asked my Facebook friends if they had any questions about the Family Skeleton series, or on mystery writing in general, and they come through with a bunch of fascinating ones.
Just for context for those who haven’t read the books, my Family Skeleton series features adjunct English professor and single mother Georgia Thackery and her best friend Sid the Skeleton. That is not a nickname. Sid is an ambulatory skeleton. He walks, he talks, and he makes horrid bone jokes. Other characters include Georgia’s older sister Deborah, her teenaged daughter Madison, and Byron the family dog.
And on to the questions!
A.C. asks, “What are some of story design questions you had to solve in order to use a "live" skeleton as a character?”
Can Sid detach his bones? Does it hurt? If the bones are separated, which one carries the personality? What senses does he have: taste, touch, hearing, smell, sight? Why does he talk without any of the usual equipment? And that’s just for starters—every book requires me to think it through a little more thoroughly.
For the record, the answers are: yes, no, the skull, all except taste, and because I didn’t want to write about a skeleton mime.

B.M. asks, “You seem to be quite familiar with the "adjunct lifestyle". Direct experience or research?”
Thank you, but it’s all research. I have a friend who was a longtime adjunct faculty member, and she pointed me to other firsthand accounts. Plus it turned out that some of my Facebook friends were or had been adjuncts, and were happy to share stories. It was a real eye-opener. More recently there have been several national news stories about how hard it is to live on an adjunct salary—a frightening proportion of adjuncts need food stamps to get by. I’m just as glad I never lived that life.
S.O. asks, “Does your skeleton age? Does anyone have hip replacement?”
Sid hasn’t aged yet—goodness knows his sense of humor is as juvenile as ever. He has broken a bone or two, but a little Super Glue and he’s good to go.
D.A. asks, “Have you ever thought about skeleton re-constructing? Similar to facial reconstruction?” This was followed up by the following from L.M.: “I like what D.A stated- a facial reconstruction. Let Georgia met a guy who can do that and let him make Sid look human for further adventures. So my question is- is this possible? I thought I read it one of the books Georgia was sort of thinking of it or Madison did.”
Interesting idea, I probably won’t do a facial reconstruction on Sid or anything more drastic. By the end of the first book, Georgia and Sid know who he was before he died, and they’ve seen photos, so they don’t need any more documentation than that. Nor do I think that facial reconstruction would work as a disguise—the face would still have to move. Besides, Sid is very proud of his physique as is, and doesn’t feel the need to cater to cultural norms.
That being said, Sid will be wearing a costume that enables him to go out in public in the book I’m working on now.


K.Z says, “The mother/daughter and Sister/sister relationships are very believable. How important is family to you and how does that manifest itself in the Family Skeleton books?”
Thank you. You can give my first editor Ginjer Buchanan credit for the mother/daughter part. I’d originally pictured Georgia as a younger woman, unmarried and without children, but Ginjer thought it would be more interesting to make her a mother of a girl geek, and mentioned The Gilmore Girls as a model. I’d never seen the show, but I do have teenaged daughters, so Madison is kind of a meld of my two girls.
As far as my family goes, I lost my mother and one of my three sisters to cancer, within of two weeks in late 2012, and I suspect a lot of that emotional energy has gone into the series. I miss them both every single day.
R.B. asks, “What's it like to take Sid on outings with your family. Any funny stories? Any strange reactions from the public on seeing Sid or seeing you and the family interacting with Sid?”
Okay, I admit to carrying a tiny plastic skeleton in my pocketbook, and posing him for photos whenever I get a chance. (See Facebook for proof of this.)
One of the funniest stories was when I was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios over the summer, and went to the 50’s Primetime Diner for lunch. The servers all show attitude, telling customers to eat their veggies, and sit up straight, and so on. After we ordered, I asked our server if I could take a picture of him with a skeleton. He totally dropped out of character and said, “Okay, I’m going to do it, but I have to ask why.” I explained, and he went on his way. A minute later, a waitress sauntered over and said, “I hear you have a skeleton. Can I see it?” She posed for even more pictures. So I guess that counts as one confused reaction and one intrigued one.
D.S. asks, “How does having a fantastic character affect how you put together a realistic mystery?”
First off, thanks for calling Sid a fantastic character. He likes you, too.
But seriously, one could argue that no cozy mystery is realistic since the number of adjunct English professors researching murders is fairly low.
Putting that consideration aside, I’d say just a little. Since I usually write about amateur sleuths, I always customize the murder plot to the skills, abilities, and background of my main character. So when I was writing about a computer programmer, one of the mysteries involved computer code; when I was writing about a freelance entertainment reporter, it took somebody who knew TV trivia to solve a particular crime. So now the mysteries have to require Sid-like shenanigans to reach a resolution.
M.O. asks, “How does having a skeleton as a protagonist influence the types of stories you can tell? What advantages/disadvantages does a crime solving skeleton have in comparison to a typical protagonist?”
Officially, Georgia is the protagonist, but just as Sherlock Holmes gets all the glory from Dr. Watson, Sid tends to steal the spotlight.
The types of stories aren’t that wildly different from what I’ve written before: murders, friendships, a little romance, families. Sid just adds a bit of a different spin. No wonder he gets all the glory!
For a writer, the advantage of having a skeleton is that it helps me around the age-old problem for writing about amateur sleuths: Why don’t they let the cops do their job? Once Sid gets involved, Georgia can’t bring in the police, so it’s up to the two of them. Plus Sid doesn’t sleep so he’s great for researching the web all night long, he fits into small spaces without need for ventilation, and he’s terrific for guard duty.

I’ve had to edit E.Q.’s question just a bit to avoid spoilers, but the bare bones of his questions (har!) are, “Did Georgia get back the abandoned pieces of Sid at the end of the first book? She could claim that she wanted to put them in an urn as a memorial, seeing as how he had no living relatives.”
She wouldn’t have wanted to ask for the bits back because the police already thought she was a weirdo because of some of the other events in that book. The memorial for pre-skeletal Sid is interesting. I think that Sid has pretty much put that part of his existence behind him, since he doesn’t remember it, but now that you ask, maybe he’d want to look at his roots some day. Say in Sid #4. Excuse me while I jot some notes.
A.H., another writer who recently finished her first novel, writes, “What do you do after you write The End?”
I cheat. When I start a new manuscript, I take an old manuscript file, delete everything but the first and last page, and save it as the new file. So The End is already there. Looming.
But when I do finally get to those taunting words, I save repeatedly, just in case. Next I tell everybody around—family, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, guinea pigs. Then I go to bed. I usually write in to the wee hours of the morning, so by then I’m tired!
D.M. asks, “Did you have to do any kind of research before writing the book?”
I do, and I hate that a lot of it never goes into the book. I’ve learned how to clean a skeleton and how long it takes, but so far I’ve never had the opportunity to describe the beetle colonies that a lot of museums and universities maintain to clean their specimens. That’s right. Beetles!
With the book I’m working on now, I’ve found out that haunted house workers track how many times they get people to, um, lose control of their bladders during a season.
I have a great job.
Z.H. asks, “Will we ever learn of Sid’s  origins? Will you ever write him a skeleton companion or pet?” S.G. adds, “Can Sid ever get a girlfriend?”
Sid’s origin story was pretty well outlined in A Skeleton in the Family. If you’re asking about how he came to life, so to speak, when a mommy skeleton loves a daddy skeleton very much… Otherwise, Sid prefers to remain a man of mystery.
The Thackery family has a pet, a dog named Byron. Sid doesn’t like him. Dog, bones… I think you see the problem. Otherwise, Sid plays on a game site called Neopets, and has several virtual pets. That’s enough for him.
As for companions of a skeletal nature, if there are other living skeletons in other family attics, Sid has never heard of them. Would you tell anybody if you had a skeleton living in your attic, closet, or armoire?
When it comes to women, I can see Sid having a flirtation or two with women over the web. Surely that can’t cause any problems. (Cue ominous foreshadowing music.)
D.S. asks, “Is Deborah's attitude towards Sid a form of sibling rivalry?”
Now that you mention it, it probably is. But the way I usually think of it is this. Georgia and her parents are all academics, and not the most practical people. Deborah, on the other hand, has her feet firmly planted on the ground. She wants the world to make sense, and face it, Sid does not and never will make sense.
H. D. asks, “How did you come up with the idea for the series?” and V.K. adds, “Love Sid, how were you able to develop a character like him?”
This is embarrassing, but I don’t remember. I do know I’d had this idea floating around for a solid ten years before I pitched it to my editor, never thinking it would sell. The best I can reconstruct is that I was noodling over the idea of a supernatural mystery series, and I already knew of such great ones with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, witches, and so on. Nobody had done skeletons.
And he didn’t actually develop. Sid came out of my head exactly how he is now. The voice, the sense of humor, the sweetness. I had to rewrite and adjust Georgia, who went though half a dozen name and age changes. Big sister Deborah was originally a brother. Madison and Byron were added late in the game. But Sid was Sid from the first paragraph I wrote about him.
G.A. asks, “Will Sid ever develop arthritis?”
Nope. Arthritis is usually either a problem with the cartilage, the synovial membrane, or an infection. Sid has no cartilage or membranes, and nothing to infect. There’s also juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, but that only affects people who are sixteen or younger, so he dodged that bullet, too.
Now for a couple of more writerly kinds of questions. H.D. asks, “Plotter or pantser?”
In other words, do I carefully plan out my plots, maybe with post-it notes or different color hightlighters? Ha! That sounds too much like work to me. I work purely by the seat of my pants.


B.G asks, “How far is too far in a cozy? Have you ever wanted to write something but stopped yourself, saying that your readers wouldn’t like it? Have you ever had an editor tell you you’ve crossed a line?”
I’ve made a couple of missteps when it comes to cozies. The first was dropping the F-bomb in the first of my “Where are they now?” series. Frankly I wasn’t expecting the book to be marketed as a cozy, and I did it for comedic effect, but it was and not everybody has my sense of humor. That won’t happen in the Family Skeleton books because Sid uses his own kind of profanity. As in, “Coccyx, I forgot to feed my Neopet!” and “That ossifying piece of sacrum!” It’s rather satisfying.
My first go at a plot for A Skeleton in the Family went too dark, and my editor nudged me in a lighter direction. She was absolutely right, too, and not just to fit me into the cozy box. It would have been a huge mistake to get dark and gritty with Sid—the book wouldn’t have worked.
Without bribery from me, L.M. asks, “My major question is will there be more Sid books? I love him.”
Sid loves you, too!
I’m working on the third, and it will be out next October. As for more, well if I weren’t typing right now, I would have my fingers crossed that my publisher will want more--I’m having a blast writing them!


I really hope that is you haven't read these books you will get them today and jump right in , Sid is amazing and will win your heart! I got to meet Leigh at Malice is she is an awesome Lady and had a wonderful costume there!
 Get to know her and Sid, you will be very glad that you have.