Monday, January 22, 2024

Murder on the Geneva Express by JB Michaels – Guest Post

Today, I’m hosting author JB Michaels and his new book Murder on the Geneva Express as part of a blog tour by Lori Caswell, of Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

As part of the tour, I’m sharing a guest post by JB Michaels about ‘Writer’s Block and Research.’

Keep reading to check it out…

First, here’s a bit about the book

Synopsis for Murder on the Geneva Express by JB Michaels

Dead body found on Geneva Express!

In a perfect storm of misfortune, Mac O’Malley finds himself embroiled in a whodunnit that has everyone convinced HE has done it.

Mac and Millie race against time, flee from authorities both municipal and magical, and attempt to clear Mac and his good reputation from absolute incarceration.


Now for the guest post on Writer’s Block and Research!

When I get stuck it is not a matter of not knowing where to go next in the plot. I get stuck on details and solving potential plot hole issues and pacing. I honestly binge write so when I do find myself mulling over details and can't find a way out of it, the momentum of my writing suffers. As I began work on my third novel years ago and made it about 24 pages in but during those 24 pages was a timing issue.

My novels tend to use time as a tension builder, the marked crescendo of rising action, so when I had trouble with the time- frame I stopped writing until I figured it out. Alas, I had to sacrifice a time-period for the first chapter I envisioned for months beforehand. Yet in the process of embarking on this literary quest I learned that getting stuck in the mud can be gratifying if what comes out of it is a golden nugget. (Nugget is a funny word)

Every experience with writing seems worthwhile. Every obstacle when met with real-time persistence can be overcome. Since I could remember, the problem-solving element of writing invokes the sharpest critical thinking and truly immerses the author in their work. I know it does for me. So here is to getting stuck.

Sometimes getting stuck can be solved with research and learning!


A phone call to friends and family with knowledge of certain details of my story acts as part of research as does a quick search in a book or online but the fantasy comes first. The layout, storyboard, or plot diagram is laid out and then I fill it in with the information and details. I have absorbed a compendium of story materials through the years. My whole life is based around telling, researching, and writing stories. Whatever the story may be... my whole modicum of thought relates in some way to the fantastic. I can walk down the street and imagine the street suddenly jolting upwards, gravel and all, and then having to dodge out of the way of the debris and then come back to the real world and try to develop a story from the imagined catastrophe.

I try to come up with more exciting ways to communicate stories all the time. I am forever trying different ways to make something exciting, dramatic, and meaningful. Thus, fantasy comes first. It drives my curiosity to research and sometimes I don't research on purpose and wing it. Sometimes the realm of pragmatism doesn't mesh with a good fantasy.... Sometimes the truth is far more interesting. The fantasy and the research when balanced to great effect can truly complement a story thus making it worthwhile.

Some writers get too into their research, and it detracts from the story, others should have done more research both can take the reader out of the narrative and that is never good. Strike a balance.

I must say the bulk of my research is skill-related. Reading similar books to see how the author handles certain scenes counts as research as well. This I do and analyze. Most of the time I am able to pick up things rather quickly with my powers of absorption but the need to improve never wanes. I always know I can be better. I hope this blog made sense otherwise I might have to do more research on blogging.


About JB Michaels

JB Michaels, author of Murder on the Geneva Express
I have spent my life in the study of story from riveting novels to the slam-bang action-packed world of comics to the examination of film history, I have spent a lifetime learning and examining the elements that make a story incredible. This steadfast dedication has led me to write stories of my own.

I am married and with a son, I have a great love of family. I hope that you enjoy my bestselling books that mash genres from thrillers to science fiction to fantasy!

Connect with JB Michaels via Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.


Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Interview with Heather Day Gilbert, Author of Shade Grown (Barks & Beans Cafe Series)

 Today, I’m hosting a new author for me. Meet Heather Day Gilbert, author of the Barks & Beans Cozy Mystery Series.

This post is part of a blog tour by Escape with Dolly Cas into a Good Book (aka Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours).

As part of the tour, I’ve got an exclusive interview with author Heather Day Gilbert. There’s also a limited-time giveaway.

Here’s a bit about the book

Shade Grown by Heather Day Gilbert

Book 8 in The Barks & Beans Café Cozy Mystery Series

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: WoodHaven Press

Publication Date: 11 December, 2023

Paperback: 190 pages

ISBN-13: 979-8987556955



Shade Grown Book Synopsis

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Café, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

During Lewisburg's popular summer home and garden tour, Macy and her brother Bo discover new aspects of their hometown's history. One of the last homes they visit features a lush commemorative shade garden marking where a Civil War soldier's bones were buried.

As Macy pauses to admire a bed of blue hostas, she glimpses a shadowy shape lying beneath the dinner-plate leaves. It turns out to be the body of famed movie star Cody Franklin, who'd purchased the garden house as a quiet country retreat.

Back at the café, Macy speaks with Cody's distraught sister, who lets slip that she's afraid her brother's killer will target her next. Macy's heart goes out to the bereaved sibling, and she agrees to speak with Cody's local acquaintances in hopes she'll uncover some helpful backstory.

But someone powerful is lurking behind the scenes, and Macy has to zoom in on the killer before everything fades to black.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Café cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Interview with author Heather Day Gilbert

Q: What inspired you to start the Barks and Beans Café series?

Heather Day Gilbert: I knew I wanted to write a coffee shop mystery series set in a West Virginia town, with brother/sister sleuths, because I love portraying good sibling relationships.

I'd also heard a lot about cat cafes, but I wondered what a dog café would be like, where people could pet/adopt shelter dogs, and the Barks & Beans Café was born!


Q: What's your favorite thing about writing the Barks and Beans Café series?

Heather Day Gilbert: The characters in this series are very real to me, and I also enjoy working in all kinds of shelter dogs into the café storylines.

I have so many readers who love my sleuth's Great Dane, Coal, but they also comment on the strong characters who tend to recur in the books.

Every time I start writing a new book, it's like stepping back into a place I'm really familiar with and hanging out with friends. Plus, I get to plot twisty mysteries, which is tons of fun. ;)


Q: When you start writing a new cozy mystery book (in a series), what's the first thing you start with? What's the writing process like for you?

Heather Day Gilbert: I start with a long synopsis that outlines the new and old characters, the critical events leading up to the murder (or murders), and the resolution.

I often have a real WV locale that's a hingepin of the setting and that lines up with the title pun (IE: the WV State Fair in FAIR TRADE, or the caverns in COLD DRIP).

I often build my plot/death/setting around the predetermined title, although my upcoming release title KNIGHT BREW was brainstormed (with the generous help of my readers!) around the setting of a Ren Faire.


Q: If your Barks & Beans Café books were to be turned into a series (or movies), who would you want to play Macy and Bo?

Heather Day Gilbert: Great question! For Bo, I've always pictured a muscled redhead like Max Martini, and for Macy, I've always pictured a strawberry blonde like Bryce Dallas Howard.

But if this series were turned into a TV series or movies, I'd just be happy if they managed to find redheads to play the leading roles, since I'm married to a redhead and I think they're fascinating. ;)


Q: You write mystery series across multiple genres (Christian romance, historical mysteries, cozies), can you write more than one mystery book at the same time or do you have to finish one mystery then turn to the other?

Heather Day Gilbert: I tend to be a linear thinker, so I generally only work on one book at a time until completion. I like to be fully invested in that world as I write, especially since I tend to write in first person POV.


Q: In your bio, you mention being an Agatha Christie fan (who isn't?). What is your favorite book by Christie?

Heather Day Gilbert: I love the Tommy/Tuppence books because they portray a healthy marriage (and I just reread BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS, which inspired one of my Barks/Beans mysteries—I won't tell you which, though. ;) Some of my faves are ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE, NEMESIS, and CROOKED HOUSE.


Q: If you could experiment with any writing genre, one you haven’t written in, what would it be?

Heather Day Gilbert: I'm actually working on writing a book in that genre right now—a domestic psychological thriller. I've always wanted to write something along the lines of the non-graphic Hitchcock films, like REAR WINDOW. Here's hoping I succeed in pulling it off!

Limited-time GIVEAWAY 

As part of the blog tour, there's a giveaway for a $10 Starbucks gift card and a softcopy of Shade Grown by Heather Day Gilbert. Use the Rafflecopter link or widget below.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Barks & Beans Café series in order:

Book 1: No Filter

Book 2: Iced Over

Book 3: Fair Trade

Book 4: Spilled Milk

Book 5: Trouble Brewing

Book 6: Cold Drip

Book 7: Roast Date

Book 8: Shade Grown

Standalone Novella: House Blend


About the author:

Heather Day Gilbert is an RWA Daphne du Maurier Award-winning author and 2-time ECPA Christy Award finalist.

She enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with unpredictable twists, much like the Agatha Christie books she read growing up.

Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren't afraid to protect those they love. Find out more at

Connect with author Heather Day Gilbert via her Website, Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram, Goodreads, and BookBub.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen – Cover Reveal

My first post of 2024, and the first in several months, is a cover reveal for a new cozy mystery. Introducing Once Upon a Murder, book two in the Lady Librarian Mystery Series by Samantha Larsen.

A bit about about the book.

Once Upon a Murder is coming out on 20 February 2024.

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books 
Genre: Cozy Mystery
304 pages
Digital ASIN:

Now for the cover reveal of Once Upon a Murder



Once Upon a Murder Book Synopsis

Miss Tiffany Woodall must sleuth the slaying of a footman to clear her beloved's name in the second Lady Librarian mystery, in the vein of Deanna Raybourn and perfect for fans of Bridgerton.

1784 England. Officially hired as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort, Miss Tiffany Woodall is through with masquerades and murders for good. That is, until she stumbles upon the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram. The speed with which her peaceful new life is upended is one for the record books: the justice of the peace immediately declares her the primary suspect in the murder.

As Tiffany hunts for the truth to clear her name, she learns that Bernard got into a fight over a woman at the local pub the night of his death–but he was also overheard blackmailing Samir. The justice of the peace arrests Samir, and Tiffany realizes that her life may have more in common with a tragic play than a light-hearted romance.

With her love locked up in jail and her own reputation on the line, Tiffany must attempt to solve the murder before the book closes on her or Samir’s life.

About the author

Samantha Larsen met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, having tea parties, and chasing her four kids. She has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Reading (UK). She also writes historical romances under Samantha Hastings. Learn more at

Preorder your copy via Amazon – B&N – Books A Million – Powells Books – Bookshop.orgTarget - Walmart 

This cover reveal was created by Lori at Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

Friday, November 10, 2023

Murder, Mayhem, and 4 of a Kind by Duffy Brown - Book Blast

Today, I’m participating in a book blast for Murder, Mayhem, and 4 of a Kind by Duffy Brown. This book blast is hosted by Lori Caswell aka Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.


Murder, Mayhem, and 4 of a Kind by Duffy Brown multiple book formats

About the book

Book: Murder, Mayhem and 4 of a Kind  

Book 1 in the High Cotton Mysteries

Author: Duffy Brown

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Setting - Georgia

Independently Published (21 September 2023)

Paperback: 174 pages

ISBN-13: 979-8861824446



Synopsis of Murder, Mayhem, and 4 of a Kind by Duffy Brown

When rotten-to-the-core Payton Wilder winds up dead in Savannah, Nola Cottonwood’s two aunts are suspects in the murder. Can Nola find the real killer, and how will the others help them get away with it.


About the author

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While other girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She has two cats, Spooky and Dr. Watson, her license plate is Sherlok and she conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime.

Duffy’s national bestselling Consignment Shop Mystery series is set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island.

Connect with author Duffy Brown via Facebook and her Website.


Check out other posts in this book blast here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Eat, Pray, Hex by Tara Lush – Spotlight and Book Review

I’m excited to feature a paranormal cozy mystery today. Introducing Eat, Pray, Hex by Tara Lush.

In this post, I’m sharing a spotlight and book review. I haven’t been reading much lately so I’m sharing my spotlight first and will update this post with a book review later this week.

This post is part of a blog tour via Great Escapes with Dolly Cas. So, there’s a limited-time giveaway as part of the tour.


About the Book

Eat, Pray, Hex

Book 1 in The Crescent Moon Mysteries

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Publication date: 13 October 2023

Publisher: Independently Published

Number of Pages: 246 pages

Digital ASIN: B0CH5J8MTL

Book synopsis

Step into the mysterious world of weird Florida, where surprises and spirits are as common as sun and sand…

Amelia Matthews never anticipated inheriting a hotel in in a small southern town, but life's twists and turns have led her to the Sunshine State. Under the hotel's quirky, rundown façade lie haunting secrets—an unsolved murder and a restless spirit who keeps turning off the air conditioner. In the summer. In Florida.

From the moment Amelia reluctantly walks through the door of the Crescent Moon Inn, she embarks on an unwelcome spectral adventure. Her companions on this eerie journey include the sassy feline Freddie Purrcury, the overly enthusiastic and hilarious Liz with her New Age bookstore, and the charmingly handsome local historian, Oliver.

Then Amelia discovers her hidden psychic abilities. As spooky happenings escalate, she can't help but wish for a few minutes of peace. And maybe a margarita.

She faces a decision: sell the inn and run, or embrace her new destiny as a paranormal sleuth. In this spine-tingling cozy mystery, Amelia Matthews unravels the secrets of the inn's haunted past while navigating psychic powers, an ornery cat, and a quirky crew of new friends. If she doesn’t solve the mystery, she just might become the inn's next ghostly inhabitant…

Join Amelia in a captivating, laugh-out-loud adventure as she embarks on a quest to uncover the truth, and you'll find yourself immersed in a world where the line between the ordinary and the supernatural blurs.


About Tara Lush

Author Tara Lush
Tara Lush is a Florida-based author and journalist. She's an RWA Rita finalist, an Amtrak writing fellow, and the winner of the George C. Polk Award for environmental journalism.

She was a reporter with The Associated Press in Florida, covering crime, alligators, natural disasters, and politics. She also writes contemporary romance set in tropical locations under the name Tamara Lush.

Tara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, seashells, iPhones, Art Deco, telenovelas, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee and newspapers. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two dogs.

Her debut mystery series is published by Crooked Lane Books.

Connect with author Tara Lush via her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.


As part of this blog tour, there is a giveaway. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget or link below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney – Book Review & Guest Post – Blog Tour

Today, I have two-part blog post for you. As part of a blog tour for historical fiction, cozy mystery Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney, I’m doing a book review along with an author guest post.

So, before we get ahead of ourselves, let me first share with you the book synopsis. Then, it’s the book review and the guest post, where the author talks about the ‘dream cast’ for her book.

This post is part of a blog tour, though I’m running a bit late posting my review.


Blog banner featuring the cover of Dame Alice Hits Hollywood and its author Allie Mahoney

Book synopsis for Dame Alice Hits Hollywood

April 1937: When Penelope Greenleigh, assistant at Ten Spot Press, learns she'll be heading to Hollywood to supervise script changes on the set of Lady Irwin's Diamonds, she should be thrilled. Who wouldn't want to mingle with movie stars in sunny California?

Book cover for Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney
But there's a catch: Penelope, 29 and from Cape May, New Jersey, has been asked to impersonate Dame Alice Cartwright, the world's bestselling mystery author, who's 47 and lives in Copley-on-the-Wold, England.

On the night Penelope arrives in L.A., Lady Irwin's lead actress disappears and a Harry Winston necklace goes missing. Soon, gossip columnist Hattie Holiday threatens to expose Penelope's deception, mobsters are coming after the film's boozy director, and worst of all, Dame Alice's script has gone from murder mystery to Fred and Ginger-style musical!

The action unfolds at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Trocadero, and hotspot Chasen's as Penelope works to solve the crimes alongside a handsome detective and a hapless studio flunky. Can she find the diamonds, the actress, and survive a wild week in Hollywood?


Book Review of Dame Alice Hits Hollywood

Dame Alice Hits Hollywood is a quick-read novella by Allie Mahoney. It’s my first read for Mahoney but it’s unlikely to be the last.

Dame Alice Hits Hollywood is a different kind of mystery. There’s no death involved. However, a character and the Harry Winston necklace, a unique piece of jewelry with massive diamonds, disappear in the early chapters.

The book opens with a series of telegrams between the Farley Brothers studios and author Dame Alice Cartwright.

The Farley Brothers, who are producing a movie based on the Dame’s mystery novel, ask the Dame to be present for script edits. The Dame, on the other hand, is working on another novel and doesn’t seem interested in being present for the edits.

The result?

“Penelope Greenleigh, you’re about to become Dame Alice Cartwright for the next three weeks.”

Penelope thinks she’s under enough pressure posing as the Dame but then the lead actress, Zsa Zsa, in the movie inspired by the Dame’s book disappears, along with a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

Now, Penelope posing as the Dame, along with her best friend Molly, and now-fired Farley Brothers’ assistant Toby, search for the necklace. Penelope and Molly also begin asking questions to learn more about Zsa Zsa and why she disappeared.

“It was one thing to type up Dame Alice’s murder-filled manuscripts, but another to land in the scene of an actual violent crime.”

The book is narrated from Penelope’s first-person perspective. Penelope is 29 and an American, while the Dame is in her late 40s and British. So, we get a lot of sarcasm and humor.

“Toby, you need to taste the stew,” Molly told the kid, handing him a spoon. “Is it beef, or is it Barry?”

“How’d I know if Mr. King was the main ingredient?”

As the story progresses, Toby receives a note saying:

Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney - Note from The Beverly Hills Burglar

This intrigues both Penelope and Molly, who begin to dig into The Beverly Hills Burglar’s previous thefts – seeing as the police are constantly busy playing music at various homes in Hollywood.

The book is fairly quick-paced. At 140 pages, the book takes place over the course of a week, from start-to-finish. It can be read in a sitting or two.

Several times while reading Dame Alice Hits Hollywood, I felt like I was reading – or watching – a play. The scenes were akin to a play rather than a story. In each scene, we have lots of people coming and going, as if on stage.

As one character exits, another comes in to deliver a certain piece of information and then leaves.

I don’t know if this was intentional on the author’s part or not, but it felt a bit odd.

Book quote from Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney

What’s interesting about Dame Alice Hits Hollywood is the setting. The book is set in the late 1930s and in Hollywood. So, there’s lots of fancy lunches, dinners, dresses, and everything in between.

Penelope maybe posing as Dame Alice but she’s not on the Dame’s financial budget. So, instead of living luxuriously in Hollywood, Penelope has to make due by sleeping on Molly’s couch and borrowing Molly’s clothes.

The book picks up pace when the real Dame sets foot in L.A. and confronts the Dame-posing Penelope.

It’s exciting to see that the quartet, Penelope, Molly, the Dame, and Toby, will appear in the coming books. Dame Alice Hits Hollywood is the first in a series of cozy mysteries. It can be read as a standalone.

Overall rating for Dame Alice Hits Hollywood by Allie Mahoney: 4 stars


My Dream Cast for Dame Alice Hits Hollywood!
By Allie Mahoney


Sure, these actors are A-Listers, but why not think big when I envision an on-screen version of my new cozy mystery?

In Dame Alice Hits Hollywood, it’s 1937 Los Angeles, and the action takes place in Beverly Hills, at Chasen’s and the Brown Derby restaurants, and at fictional Farley Brothers Studios in Hollywood’s heyday. Can you picture the glossy convertibles, palm trees, and stylish pool parties? This story of impersonation, a missing movie star, stolen Harry Winston gems, and gangsters and gossips is made for the big (or small) screen!

As Penelope, the publishing assistant who’s been tasked with impersonating bestselling mystery author Dame Alice Cartwright on the set of Lady Irwin’s Diamonds, I imagine Selena Gomez. Yes, she’s too beautiful to be anonymous, but Selena has the ability to fit right in with Steve Martin and Martin Short, and she’d give Penelope just the right air of excitement at landing in L.A.

Since we’re conjuring star power, how about the gorgeous Zendaya as Zsa Zsa Le Coque, the actress who’s mid-fling with an Argentinian aristocrat while not quite divorced from her soup mogul husband?

Dame Alice Cartwright is based on my favorite author Agatha Christie, and when the real Dame shows up in California, she appears to be an introverted, retiring figure until she sips a few daquiris and starts solving crimes. I aspire to hire the real-life Dame (the highest honor in Britain) Emma Thompson. The reserved author unbends a bit while in L.A., and Thompson would do that with so much skill.

As Toby, the studio flunky and sidekick to Penelope, who could resist Simu Liu? While Liu himself is innately cool, which Toby isn’t, Liu is also very funny and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. And would Bryan Cranston be available to take on the role of canned foods millionaire Morty Le Coque?

Finally, as the big-hearted, boozy oil heiress Emerald Elliman, whose mansion adjacent to the Beverly Hills Hotel hosts many starry soirees, I envision Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham inviting actors, gangsters, screenwriters, and the Dame herself to party like it’s 1937!


Author image of Allie Mahoney
About the author

A longtime magazine journalist, Allie Mahoney has written for Town & Country, Time Out New York, and Cosmo. 

A lifelong Agatha Christie fan, her shelves are also filled with the books of P.G. Wodehouse, Dave Barry, Sophie Kinsella, and Carl Hiaasen. Additional guilty pleasures: Classic Hollywood movies, fashion, dogs, Bravo tv, BritBox, Phillies baseball, and the beach.


Monday, July 17, 2023

Paw & Order by Chris Abernathy – Blog tour with an Author Interview


Today, I’m hosting author Chris Abernathy and his exciting new cozy mystery series, featuring a cat-detective! I’m interviewing Chris about the book, the series, his work – he’s a book narrator, by the way – among other things. There’s also an excerpt from the book right after the synopsis.

AND there’s a limited-time giveaway so be sure to check it out.  

This post is part of a blog tour by Lori Caswell at Escapes with Dolly Cas into a Good Book.

Let’s dive in. Here’s a bit about the book.

Book Synopsis for Paws & Order by Chris Abernathy

What’s better than a K-9 cop? A feline detective. Detective Whiskers is out to prove himself, and keep his human from being framed for murder, or worse. He'll need the help of his new animal friends and Sheila's group of female sleuths. This cozy mystery set in a small town in Old Florida is purrfect for cat lovers and anyone who enjoys a fun beach read.

Who is really catching killers in Paradise Cove? It’s not the local police. The Paradise Cove Murder Society is getting the job done, with more help than they realize from a furry detective named Whiskers.

Sheila and her cat Whiskers are starting a new life in the perfect little Florida beach town that managed to avoid the big crowds, condos and chain stores. But as soon as they arrive the town has its first ever murder. Good thing Whiskers is a trained detective!

Fred, Sheila’s husband of forty years, was a police detective who recently passed away, right before they were supposed to retire to the beach. After forty years of devoting herself entirely to being a good wife and mother she’s now left to put her life back together, but what kind of life will it be? In a fresh setting, and with some quirky new friends, she slowly begins to remember all of the dreams she had as a young woman. She has a second chance to chase those dreams, if she can stay alive and out of prison. When her next door neighbor is killed and the evidence points to Sheila, it’s time for Whiskers to step up.

Whiskers was Fred’s loyal assistant and he’ll need to remember everything he learned from his mentor to keep Sheila safe as she rediscovers herself. With the help of some unexpected new friends of his own Detective Whiskers sets out to prove to the world, and himself, that he is worthy of the shiny badge on his collar. If you love humorous cozy mysteries where pets take the lead and eccentric friends come together to solve crimes with just the right amount of suspense then the Detective Whiskers Cozy Mystery Series is exactly what you’re looking for.


Excerpt from Paws and Order

Sheila does not understand. I know we’re not supposed to play favorites with our humans, but we all do. Fred and I had a connection that was … special. I’ve tried communicating with Sheila, but— Okay this part is a little embarrassing. Every time I tap her hand with my paw, she thinks I want food or a belly rub. Which, of course, I do. I ALWAYS want food or a belly rub. Or both. But I’m trying to tell her something important, and all of a sudden, she puts those fingernails to work on my belly and I’m gone. Lost. A zombie. It feels sooooo good. Whatever I needed to say is up in smoke, my eyes are closed, and I hear a Karen Carpenter love song in my head.

Don’t judge me.


Exclusive interview with author Chris Abernathy

To learn more about Chris and his books, keep reading.


Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?

Chris Abernathy: I live on the Alabama coast with my wife. We have two boys, one grown and the other too close to it for our liking. I have always enjoyed writing and got into the publishing world as an audiobook narrator. Interacting with authors and publishers inspired me to finally write and publish my own stories.


Q: What is a day in the life of book narrator and author Chris Abernathy like?

Chris Abernathy: I typically spend my mornings narrating and my afternoons writing. My voice works better in the early part of the day and the house is quieter. So, I start off with a few hours in my recording booth. After lunch I sit down with my laptop and see where my imagination takes me.


Q: When did you decide it was time to start writing your own books and series? And when (or how) did you decide you want to write cozies rather any other genre?

Chris Abernathy: I was on a cruise with my family and some friends when I first started writing seriously. We had splurged for a cabin with a balcony and sitting out there in the evenings my thoughts took off and I got several chapters written in one week.

After the cruise ended, it took several stops and starts before I finally finished that book which was inspired by my thirty-year career as a radio personality. I really had no idea what I was doing - I just let the characters take me where they wanted to go and it was a very positive experience that helped me understand myself and people I had worked with better.

That book, Blowing Up the Airwaves, was written under my “radio name” Chris Wright and I added a short prequel, Rise of the Radio Gods. Both were funny stories with some adventure thrown in but didn’t adhere to any specific genre. They didn't sell much but it showed me that I could write a full book and gave me some insight into the style of writing that came naturally to me.

With the help of some author friends, I decided that the cozy genre fit my style and would allow me to create the kinds of characters I enjoyed writing about.


Q: As a book narrator, how many times do you need to read a book to narrate it?

Chris Abernathy: I read the book through and make notes then do some research for pronunciations, etc. When I go into the booth I scan ahead a little to make sure I recall where things are going but I don’t do a close read again before narrating. I want the story to feel fresh as I read.


Q: How many books do you have planned–so far–for The Detective Whiskers Cozy Mystery Series?

Chris Abernathy: I currently have titles and covers through book #5 but I plan to continue for at least a few more beyond that. Readers seem to be enjoying them so if the response keeps going the way it has so far then I’d like to go to about a dozen then decide if there’s more to tell or if the story has wrapped itself up.

Q: Is the entire Paw and Order book narrated from Detective Whiskers’ point of view or do we see others’ perspectives as well?

Chris Abernathy: Other than a preface for book three, the whole book, and series, so far is from Whiskers’ point of view. I plan to keep it that way because it allows me to show the human characters from a non-human perspective.


Q: It’s common to find cozy mystery characters who have pets they depend on. But what inspired you to have a cat as the main, mystery-solving character?

Chris Abernathy: I think that most of us want to put ourselves into the story. With a human as a main character, I think it sometimes limits our willingness to go along with their story. We let our differences impact how we see their story.

Once we place ourselves into the perspective of an animal we’ve moved past that. We leave some of our human biases behind and open ourselves to see the people around us a little differently.


Q: If you can give aspiring mystery writers a piece of advice, what would it be?

Chris Abernathy: My advice would be to first write what you enjoy writing. Write as often as you can and take notice of how it makes you feel.

Once you have a good understanding of what you really enjoy writing then look at what readers are buying and figure out where the two intersect so that you can give them what they want in a way that is unique to your voice but within a framework that is comfortable to them.


About Chris Abernathy

Chris Abernathy has narrated more than 200 audiobooks and now he is writing his own stories. He has been a storyteller his entire life — around campfires at a summer camp as a counselor, on the radio for more than 30 years, as an actor with background roles on major motion pictures and TV series, as a producer of short films for social media and more.

Chris is married with two sons and lives on the Gulf Coast in Alabama. He is a dual national with citizenship in the US and UK and visits family in the Scottish Highlands as often as possible.

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