Sunday, June 25, 2017

Everybody Loves A Fair

by Monica Whitman, from Sheila Connolly's A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11), coming November 2017

Hi! I’m Monica Whitman, and I just moved to Granford with my husband Douglas. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Douglas is retired now, and we’d always wanted to live in New England and had somehow missed it until now. But we’ve got a nice old farmhouse—not that we’re farmers or anything—and I’m having a wonderful time getting to know all the nice people of Granford! You know, it kind of keeps you young, starting over in a new place. But everybody’s been very kind to me—to both of us, really.

That’s why I wanted to give something back to the town. Oh, all right, it was also a great way to introduce myself to a lot of people all at once. Anyway, I suggested that the town host a WinterFare. I guess I have to explain. There’s still a lot of farming going on in Granford, and they have a lovely Harvest Festival, or so I’m told, but then there’s that kind of dull period after the harvest and before all the pruning and planting and whatever starts up. That’s usually in January and February. 

So I went to the town council, or more precisely, Seth Chapin, who’s a great guy, and said, why not have an indoor festival then, to get people out of their houses? I know enough about farming to know that there isn’t much in the way of fresh vegetables and fruits at that time of year, but some apples keep well over the winter, or so Seth told me, and they make a nice colorful theme. And of course there are all those crafts, like knitting and crocheting and art, and people can show those off and maybe sell some. And that nice young couple with the restaurant on the green could provide the food.

The council liked my idea, especially after I said I’d do all the planning, which I was happy to do. As I hoped, I got to meet lots of people, and it wasn’t hard to put things together. I’ve planned events like this in other places, so I knew what needed to be done. And it all came together so well! It was a great success, and I hope the town will do it again next year.

But maybe I’ll let someone else manage it the next time. It really was a lot of work, and I’ll admit I’m tired now. But happy.

June is bustin’ out all over, and we at Killer Characters are celebrating with a month-long giveaway (so that all of us can be part of it). I’m kind of between books, although you’ll meet Monica in A Late Frost in November. But right now I’m trying to clear out some of my office and bookshelves and the floor, and . . . You get the idea. So I’d like to offer one lucky winner one book from each of my series (Orchard Mysteries, Museum Mysteries and County Cork Mysteries). If you need to fill in your collection here’s your chance! First book, last book, or anything between! You don’t even have to pick a favorite series! Just leave a comment by June 28th (and include your email address) and I’ll pick one winner for the three books of your choice. Good Luck!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Inside the Actor's Studio questions and there's a #BookGiveaway

Character:      Savannah Webb
Series:           Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
Author:          Cheryl Hollon

Hi there, I’m Savannah Webb, owner of Webb’s Glass Shop on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. One of my friends has been featured in the local neighborhood newspaper. The interview was great fun and they thought it would be interesting for me to answer the questions as well.

Here goes...

1. What is your favorite word? Joy

2. What is your least favorite word? No

3. What turns you on? World class art of any kind. The written word, live performances, sculpture and most of all, exquisite blown glass.

4. What turns you off? Arrogance, impatience and/or inattention. We're all here for such a short time.

5. What sound or noise do you love? An a cappella choir in perfect harmony

6. What sound or noise do you hate? Broken glass

7. What is your favorite curse word? On rare occasions, I've been know to curse like a sailor -- that's all I'll say.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? A portrait artist

9. What profession would you not like to do? I would be the world's worst accountant.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Hello, Savannah! Come on in.


Etched in Tears releases on November 28, 2017 and is available for pre-order everywhere. Meanwhile, you can read more about Savannah in Cracked to Death, the third book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries, published by Kensington Books. Available at your favorite book vendor.

About Cracked to Death

When a treasure hunt leads to deadly plunder, it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb and her trusty investigative posse to map out the true motives of a killer . . .

It's the dog days of summer in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Webb's Glass Shop proprietor Savannah Webb has an eco-friendly plan to help locals escape the heat--a recyclable bottle-crafting workshop taught by reticent store manager Amanda Blake. Turns out, the class is a bigger smash than expected, thanks in part to a pair of staggeringly old bottles brought in by snorkeler Martin Lane . . .

Linked to a storied pirate shipwreck, the relics definitely pique Savannah's interest. But intrigue turns to shock when Martin's lifeless body washes ashore the next morning, another glass artifact tucked in his dive bag. With cell phone records connecting Amanda to the drowning, Savannah must voyage through uncharted territory to exonerate her colleague and capture the twisted criminal behind Martin's death . . .


There's a #BOOKGIVEAWAY to Celebrate Summer here at Killer Characters! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on June 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of your choice of Pane and Suffering, Shards of Murder, or Cracked to Death. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.

Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebook or Twitter

Friday, June 23, 2017

Scottish Summer Giveaway!

by Janet Marsh from the Highland Bookshop Mysteries

Greetings, on a beautiful summer day, from Inversgail, my adopted hometown on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. That sounds like pure bliss, doesn’t it? It is.
Inversgail is a gem with a natural harbor, white sand beaches, and water warmed by the Gulf Stream. Hills rise behind the charming houses and shops creating a picturesque backdrop perfect for photographers and hillwalkers.

Even the rain is charming in Inversgail, which is good because it rains fairly often. I heard something recently that might explain all the rain—if you see a
cat washing its ears, then rain is on the way. If that’s true, then the cats of Inversgail must have the cleanest ears in creation.

Do you know how many Scots words there are for describing rain? Here are a few: Black weet, blatter, blaw bye, and dreep. Dribble, drouk, onding, and peuch. Plype, saft, scudder, and smirr. There are more, too, and I’ve heard some of them, but not all. I’m going to start keeping track, though. It’ll be a life list like birders keep. You could almost put them to music and dance a jig.

Someone asked me, the other day, if I could go anywhere at all on holiday, where would it be? Quite honestly, even though we’ve been here a few months now, the “on holiday” feeling hasn’t worn off. I’m sure it will, though, and maybe sooner than I’d like if what I’ve heard about Daphne Wood is true. She’s the author coming to Inversgail for a three-month author-in-residence program. Her reputation for being eccentric has a few people worried. Hmmm. But Daphne doesn’t arrive until the end of August, and we have the whole summer ahead of us, so let’s celebrate with a giveaway!

For a chance to win a signed copy of Plaid and Plagiarism, Highland Bookshop Mystery #1, leave a comment below, telling me where you’d like to go on holiday. Be sure to include your email address. I’ll choose one comment, at random, to win, at 10:00 a.m. on 6/25.

Watch for Scones and Scoundrels, Highland Bookshop Mystery #2, coming in January 2018 (available for pre-order now).

A body outside a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . . 

Molly MacRae
is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Hello folks – Cait Morgan here. If you know me at all, you know I travel, a lot. And it seems that whenever I do, I end up tripping over a corpse and having to work my way through a puzzling, closed circle mystery…you know, the good old-fashioned type with lots of suspects, red herrings and a chance for me to bring everyone together at the end of my investigations to reveal the culprit.

“Have you been missing those delightful mystery-travelogue works from Lyn Hamilton? Say hello to Cathy Ace and her intrepid sleuth, Cait Morgan, a Welsh-Canadian professor with a predilection for investigating crime...the series is a winner...terrific light mystery with a wonderful setting and Ace is, well, an ace when it comes to plot and description.”  
Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail about The Corpse with the Ruby Lips

Well, this month it’s time to decide where you’d like to go in the world….but put away that passport, forget the lines at the airport, and kick back with a Cait Morgan Mystery that will whisk you away to…well, where would you like to go?

Choose from Nice, on the Cote d’Azur in the South of France (The Corpse with the Silver Tongue), or maybe the glorious vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Beautiful British Columbia, Canada (The Corpse with the Golden Nose)? Or how about Mexico – the Pacific coast, near Puerto Vallarta (The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb) or maybe a quick jaunt to Vegas (The Corpse with the Platinum Hair)? Maybe you’d like to venture to a Welsh clifftop castle (The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes) or how about a luxury cruise around the Hawai’ian Islands (The Corpse with the Diamond Hand)? Of course, you could head to Europe…Amsterdam maybe (The Corpse with the Garnet Face) or Budapest (The Corpse with the Ruby Lips). 

Just leave a comment below, (by midnight, Eastern, on Saturday 24th June 2017)  with your email address, and tell me which Cait Morgan Mystery you’d prefer to be sent, and your name will go into the “hat” for a random selection of one lucky winner (who can live in the USA, Canada or the UK). 

Armchair travel with a puzzling mystery thrown in for good measure? The best way to enjoy the world for a crime fiction fan!

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and in the USA & Canada on March 1st).  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Peeking into the Past

By: Jaymie Leighton
From: Leave it to Cleaver
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2017
Website: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

Are you a youngest child? I am. My sister, Becca, is 15 years older than I am. As much as we've built a relationship now that borders on that of equals, I'll probably always have the feeling that she's trying to boss me around, and that she thinks she knows what's best for me.

But I also know for sure that she loves me, and always will.

Lately I've had a disturbing and enlightening look into her past, though, something I've never known about. Two of her friends went missing the autumn Becca turned 16; she and her friends were entangled in it, though they didn't even really know what was going on.

But on a personal level and from a distance of over 30 years, I'm reading diaries and looking at photos, and getting this whole different view of how Becca, Valetta, Dee and others related and it's really weird. It was a life before I was even conscious of life. I was just six months old or so, and wouldn't be conscious of my big sister's love for me for another four or five years. However, thanks to looking into the disappearance of Delores Paget and Rhonda Welch I'm catching glimpses of how much Becca cared for me, and how she and Valetta, in particular, helped my mom, who was not having an easy time of it with a newborn, cope.

It's humbling to see how tough it was for Becca, with all the usual 16 year old drama and trauma, and a baby to care for, too.

We're going to figure out what happened to poor Delores and Rhonda, though; it's important to Becca, so it's important to me.

Have you ever had something happen that made you look at a sibling or old friend in an entirely new way?


First an announcement... June 23rd, in two days, Leave It to Cleaver, Book #6 of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries will be released, and I'm so happy to announce that I have signed to write at least three more, #7 - 9. The book following Leave It to Cleaver will be No Grater Danger and will come out in spring 2018!!

And now, to the giveaway news!!

Cozy Up To Summer Giveaway!

Comment between now and Midnight, June 23rd, 2017 for a chance to win a "Cozy up to a great mystery!"pen, fridge magnet and bookmark AND a copy of Leave It to Cleaver, hot off the press!!

Canadian and US addresses welcome. Please leave a first name and email address (yourname at yourserver dot com) in your comments!

For more info on my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and more, check out my webpage and social media:
Website: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries
Facebook: Victoria Hamilton, Author
Twitter: @MysteryVictoria
Goodreads: Author Victoria Hamilton

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ringing in Summer with a Giveaway!

by Ruth Clagan of the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes

There is much to love in the Berkshires in the summer. Lots of great theater, music at Tanglewood, art at MASS MoCA, festivals. Though there is a river running behind the Cog & Sprocket, I don't go swimming there. Instead, I go out to Caroline's house, and swim at the pond near her house. I spent summers there as a kid, and that watering hole is my happy place.
There are a couple of things I don't love, though. One of them is winding clock towers on hot summer days. I'll bet folks never really think about the fact that once a week someone has to wind clocks in towers all over the world, no matter what the season. You'd think winter would be the worst, but it really isn't. First of all, if the tower has a clock that is being tended to, that means the heat is on somewhere. Secondly, once you start winding (350 revolutions usually), you work up some heat.
But in the summer? Clock towers aren't generally air conditioned. It gets hot and stuffy, but the work needs to be done. Thankfully, Pat Reed has started experimenting with some tasty summer drinks--shrubs. Fresh fruit marinated in vinegar, then boiled with sugar into a syrup you mix with seltzer water. (Here's a recipe,) Both sweet and tangy. He's working on a strawberry rhubarb shrub. But my favorite so far is his blueberry shrub, with a twist of lemon. Delish, and refreshing!
Of course, there's one clock tower I won't minding every week--the clock tower in the old Town Hall. The adventures of getting that built will be detailed in Chime and Punishment this August. Until then, here's a picture of our friend, Julianne Holmes, winding a clock to learn what it is like.
In honor of summer reading we’re offering a copy of Clock and Dagger to one lucky commenter. Let me know what your favorite summer drink is. Please include your email in this format: your name (at) your server (dot) com--so the spambots can't pick it up. Giveaway closes at midnight Friday June 23rd.
And remember to keep coming back to the Killer Characters blog as there is a new book giveaway every day for the month of June. Talk about refreshing!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Book Giveaway!!!

By Sassy Cabot from the Read ’Em and Eat Mysteries by Terrie Farley Moran

Well here we are—it is June and Fort Myers Beach is welcoming family vacationers with open arms. Temperatures are in the low 90s most days and the breeze from the Gulf of Mexico feels oh so good.

Now that the Lee County schools are out for the summer, the Teen Book Club members plan to meet every two weeks. Instead of arguing about what to read next or leaving the decision to me, the club members decided to each drop a folded paper with the name of a book into a paper bag and then I got to shake the bag and draw out the name of the first June book. Holes by Louis Sachar won both the Newbery and the National Book Award, so I was delighted it would be our first read. Since it was Julio’s selection, he did a twisty high five fist bump handshake thingy with Larry while shouting, "This book is lit. Wait 'til you read it."

In honor of summer reading we’re offering a copy of Well Read, Then Dead to one lucky commenter. Let us know if you read more books or fewer books when summer comes around. Or tell us anything about your favorite summer reads. Please include your email in this format: your name (at) your server (dot) com--so the spambots can't pick it up. Giveaway closes at midnight Thursday June 22nd.

And remember to keep coming back to the Killer Characters blog as there is a new book giveaway every day for the month of June. Don't you love it?