November 21, 2012

Have a Cozy Christmas!

Join us at the Have a Cozy Christmas Countdown!

In celebration of the holidays, is giving away a book a day. From November 26 to December 25, visit our site and leave a comment, and you'll be entered for that day's giveaway. Return the next day to see if you won. You have thirty chances to win! Be sure to come back each day and leave a new comment to enter the drawing for that day. Good luck. From all the Killer Characters and their authors, Have a very Cozy Christmas!

November 09, 2012

Bond. James Bond.

Let me begin by admitting that this post has nothing to do with New Orleans (that I'm aware of) or cake (ditto) or jazz or writing -- at least not directly. I logged in to Facebook this morning to update friends about a health issue and found a steady stream of Daniel Craig pictures that left my mind seriously boggled.

Admittedly, I'm not a James Bond fan. I've probably seen a grand total of ... well, ZERO James Bond movies from beginning to end in my lifetime. It's not that I'm anti-Bond. I'm just kind of ambivalent about Bond. I can't work up a good head of steam over 007 and his exploits, even though I found the ideas of both Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan in the starring role appealing and would probably watch a new Bond movie starring either one of them as they are right now in the role of an aging super spy.

But that's not true of every actor who has played Bond. Timothy Dalton might have been okay. Roger Moore? Meh. Maybe. Maybe not.

But Daniel Craig? Not even a little bit.

I tried to watch one movie featuring Craig as 007 and got the giggles before he even made it off the roof in the opening action sequence. For me it was a little like watching Kermit the Frog as Rhett Butler. But judging from the number of Craig pics showing up on my Facebook stream this morning, I get the idea that I'm missing something.

So what is it? What am I missing? Do I need to take Craig-as-Bond shaken, not stirred? I hope someone can explain it to me. I make up people for a living, and I'm always interested in perspectives about life and about people and things that are different from my own.

And if, by chance, you're someone who just doesn't get it, please be kind and tell me I'm not alone!

October 23, 2012

Killer Characters

I'm excited to announce that I've joined the group over at Killer Characters, where the characters, both major and minor, from your favorite cozy mysteries do the blogging. It's a fun blog to read, and I'm excited to join up with so many wonderful mystery writers to produce this blog for readers. My characters will be posting regularly on the 14th of every month, but they'll also be dropping by to read and comments on the posts of other characters.

In the past few days, we've heard from Kath Rutledge from Last Wool and Testament (the first in the Haunted Yarn Shop mystery series by Molly MacRae), Winston Turcotte from Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett, and Jaymie Leighton from A Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton. 

You'll find links to author websites, Facebook pages, and their feeds on Twitter, and on the first of every month you'll get news about new releases. If you love cozy mysteries and Killer Characters isn't on your regular blog route, consider stopping by one of these days soon and adding us to your list. It's always great fun to hear from readers.

Hope to see you there!

October 02, 2012

My Big Fat Duh Moment

I had a hand-to-the-forehead moment today at my local library. I've been reading a new (to me) mystery series and I've been really enjoying it. During one library visit several months ago, I took stock of the inventory and realized that my library actually had most of the series, which doesn't happen often. In the entire county library system, I'm usually able to find, say, book 3, book 6 and book 8, of a series, but I can never get most of any series and budget cuts have made it impossible to do inter-library loans. So when I saw this almost complete series just sitting there on the shelf, I was pretty excited.

Because of looming deadlines I've been moving slowly. I picked up book #1 a few months ago and only just finished book #3. When I took my 3 year-old granddaughter to story time this morning, I decided to pick up book #4 and take it home with me -- which should have been no problem. After all, I already knew the book was there.

So we gathered, and kids ran wild while they waited for story time, and people got bumped and kids battled for books, and eventually the brave librarians had a large group of three, four, and five year-olds line up and wave good-bye. On my own for the next 30 minutes, I strolled over to the paperback shelves to look for the book I wanted.

No book.

I looked again.

No book. And not just no book #4, but no book #5, #6, #7 either. In fact, I soon realized books #1 and #2 were also missing. I stood there for a minute feeling (and no doubt looking) confused. Was I in the wrong place? I checked the shelves to the left and then the shelves to the right. Nothing looked familiar.

I checked again, just to make sure. Nada.

Beginning to feel a little worried, I walked over to the reference desk to ask for help.
"Excuse me," I said. "I just checked in a book and I can't remember the author's name. Would you mind looking through the return box so I can figure out what I'm looking for?" 
The librarian looked at me strangely, but I've been a loyal member of the story time community for the past 3 years so she complied, lifting up one paperback after another until I let out a squeal of recognition. "That's it! Victoria Laurie. Terrific. Thank you!" The librarian started to hand me the book, but I waved away the offer and assured her I had everything I needed. And then I hurried back to the bookshelves.


Still no books from the series. In fact, there was a gaping hole where the series should have been. So I went back to the reference desk and asked another brilliant question:
"There's an entire series of books missing. Have you recently cleaned out your shelves?" 
Blank stare.

"Have you gotten rid of any books recently?  The series I was reading is ... gone!"

More blank staring. In fact, her stare was so blank I wasn't sure she could understand the words that were coming out of my mouth. When I realized two librarians were looking at me as if I'd lost my mind, I decided to stop asking and try another tack.

If the librarians couldn't help me, I'd figure it out myself. I toddled over to the computer and checked the library catalog where I found, to my relief, that the series was still listed and that my library still technically had a copy of all the books, but they were all listed as unavailable.

In my defense, I want to say that it's been a pretty rough few months and the past few days have been particularly hairy. As a result, my brain has been otherwise occupied. Which is why it took me another full minute to understand that the books hadn't been sold off or thrown out. Somebody else had checked them out!

Duh! It's a library!

March 28, 2012

Arsenic and Old Cake

Number three in the Piece of Cake Mystery Series:

Isn't this a great cover? The book is available for pre-order now at

March 19, 2012

Cozy Mystery Challenge

I think I'm addicted to reading challenges. Unfortunately, I rarely actually complete the challenge once I've signed up for it. Somehow I forget until after I've signed up for the challenge that my reading time is not my own until May or June every year, thanks to the various contests I pledge to judge every year. This morning, though, I stumbled across a challenge I think I can actually meet -- the Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Kris Meyer from Not Enough Books.

The challenge is to read at least 6 cozy mysteries in the next 6 months. That sounds very do-able to me, since I'm pretty sure I'll be reading at least that many cozy mysteries in the next 6 months. And if I'm going to be reading the books anyway, it makes sense to sign up for the challenge and show myself that I can actually complete a reading challenge.

Anybody want to join me?