This is fun–out of the blue, my publisher sent me four copies of the audio book for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder! So I’m giving them away! Here’s what you can do to win one:

Follow this link to add A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder to ygiveaway picour shelf on Goodreads. Then let me know in a comment here, or on my Author Facebook page that you want to be in the drawing. That’s it! Do you already have book two on your ‘want to read’ shelf? Thank you! Just let me know that in a comment here or on Facebook, and I’ll enter you in the drawing. Don’t have a Goodreads account? Just follow my FB Author page and leave a comment that you want to be in the drawing. Due to shipping costs, this drawing is for US residents only. (Sorry) I’ll keep it open through Monday, January 21st, and draw four winners on Tuesday, January 22nd. Good luck!

A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder is the second in the Countess of Harleigh mystery series. Here’s a little bit about the book:

How far will some go to safeguard a secret? In the latest novel in Dianne Freeman’s witty and delightful historical mystery series, the adventurous Countess Harleigh finds out . . .

Though American by birth, Frances Wynn, the now-widowed Countess of Harleigh, has adapted admirably to the quirks and traditions of the British aristocracy. On August twelfth each year, otherwise known as the Glorious Twelfth, most members of the upper class retire to their country estates for grouse-shooting season. Frances has little interest in hunting—for birds or a second husband—and is expecting to spend a quiet few months in London with her almost-engaged sister, Lily, until the throng returns.

Instead, she’s immersed in a shocking mystery when a friend, Mary Archer, is found murdered. Frances had hoped Mary might make a suitable bride for her cousin, Charles, but their courtship recently fizzled out. Unfortunately, this puts Charles in the spotlight—along with dozens of others. It seems Mary had countless notes hidden in her home, detailing the private indiscretions of society’s elite. Frances can hardly believe that the genteel and genial Mary was a blackmailer, yet why else would she horde such juicy tidbits?

Aided by her gallant friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, Frances begins assisting the police in this highly sensitive case, learning more about her peers than she ever wished to know. Too many suspects may be worse than none at all—but even more worrying is that the number of victims is increasing too. And unless Frances takes care, she’ll soon find herself among them.

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A Year of Wonder and Gratitude

Happy New YearWith the launch of my debut novel, 2018 was an incredible year for me. Publishing a book comes with the privilege of writing acknowledgements; thanking those people who helped see the book through to fruition. But I wrote them so early in the process, I had no idea how many people would be there to help with promotions, marketing, support, advice, and kind words though the launch and beyond. So, this is an addendum to my acknowledgements for A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder.

Thanks to my friends and family who traveled a minimum of 30 minutes through Michigan road construction—some coming from across the state—to spend a beautiful, summer afternoon indoors, to listen to me speak, yet again, about my book. You made my launch party an experience I’ll never forget!

Thanks to Robin Agnew for taking a chance on a brand-new author and letting me hold my launch party at Aunt Agatha’s Mystery Bookshop. And thanks to Sarah Zettel for recommending A Lady’s Guide to Robin.

Thanks to my new friends and fellow debut authors at Authors ’18. From celebrating one another’s achievements to crying on one another’s shoulders, to promoting one another’s work, this group was proof I wasn’t alone in either my triumphs or travails. I’ll keep cheering for you through 2019 and beyond!

Thanks to fellow writers and bloggers who allowed, or invited me, to guest post on their (much larger) platforms. To those who interviewed me or provided content for my blog by allowing me to interview them.

Thanks to reviewers and readers who found enjoyment in A Lady’s Guide and were kind enough to share their thoughts on Goodreads, Bookbub, and elsewhere across social media, and even directly with me. The reason writers write is to connect with readers and hearing that I have, just makes my day.

Thanks to the man pictured above; my husband, Dan for sharing this experience with me. 2018 truly was an incredible year. I hope I’ll always look back on it with the wonder and gratitude I feel now.

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Interview with Carol Potenza, author of Hearts of the Missing

Carol Potenza is the author of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize winning novel, Hearts of the Missing. I recently had a chance to talk with her about writing thiHearts of the Missing_cover photos story.

Here’s a bit about the book:
When a young woman linked to a list of missing Fire-Sky tribal members commits suicide, Pueblo Police Sergeant Nicky Matthews is assigned to the case. As the evidence leads her to a shocking discovery, she uncovers not only murder but an ominous, vengeful twist that strikes at the very core of what it means to be a member of the Fire-Sky People. With an intimate knowledge of Fire-Sky customs and traditions, the killer ensures the spirits of those targeted will wander lost forever. As Nicky closes in on the murderer, those closest to her are put in jeopardy. She realizes she must be willing to sacrifice everything–her career, her life, and even her soul–to save the people she is sworn to protect.

DF: First things first; how did you come up with the idea for Hearts of the Missing?
CP: From ‘visions’ and ghost stories told by my family members (all true!) and a Zuni petit point coral necklace with a four chambered center, like a heart. The stories are from actual experiences my relatives have had which fascinated me because I’ve never seen anything supernatural in my life. When I lost a stone from the necklace around the same time a close relative passed away, I wrote a short story to explain how the loss of the stone was linked to the death or disappearance of a loved one. The idea for the book grew from this.

DF: How long did it take to write the book?
CP: I started it in January of the year before it was selected as the Tony Hillerman Prize in March of 2017. It took me about six months to write and six months to edit to the manuscript I sent into the Prize on January 4, 2017. During that time, I pitched it to another publisher who asked for a full, but rejected it. After it was selected, the St. Martin’s Press editor gave me some edits that made the story about a million times better. It took 18 months from the time it was chosen to publication December 4, 2018.

DF: What kind of research did you do?
CP: I have ‘sources’ on pueblos here in New Mexico that were/are invaluable for questions about the police procedural processes. I did ride-alongs and visited museums and fiestas on Native American Pueblos. I traveled to Native American ruins, talked to members of different tribes in New Mexico, visited mesas, deserts, plains, rivers, forests so I could describe the scenery. And for the science, I learned it from in-depth reading of the literature and talking to doctors and nurses. And of course, Google was/is my best source. I’ve been to some pretty dark and distant places on the internet.

DF: Do you do a lot of plotting or are you a pantser?
CP: I plot in my head, but pants on the page. I always know the beginning, the science, the crime, and the ghost story. I start writing, figure out the end, then write toward it. Sometimes there seems to be an insurmountable chasm to cross, but so far, I’ve been able to build that bridge.

DF: Do you have a favorite part of the writing process?
CP: Twisting the paths of the subplots together until they form the road my protagonist, Nicky, is running down to the finish. That road is actually an arroyo that’s hard to climb out of, and, by the end, a metaphorical flash flood is chasing her, poor thing.

DF: Do you have a favorite book that influenced your writing?
CP: It wasn’t so much a book, but books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. I love their innovation, their twisted plots, the science they layer through their work, and the suspense and action that run like a train in all their stories. I literally always learn a new vocabulary word when I read their books. In some small way, I wanted to write like them.

DF: What are you working on now?
CP: I’m editing the second Nicky Matthews book in the series, writing the third, and researching the fourth. Keeps me busy.

Here’s a little baCarol Potenzackground on Carol Potenza, where you can connect with her on social media, and where you can purchase Hearts of the Missing.

Carol Potenza is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at New Mexico State University. She and her husband, Leos, live in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hearts of the Missing, her debut novel, is the winner of the 2017 Tony Hillerman Prize. You can find her at her website, FaceBook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

You can purchase Hearts of the Missing at these retailers: Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:

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Review of The Frame-Up and Interview with Meghan Scott Molin

Meghan Scott Molin’s debut novel, The Frame-up releases today! I had the opportunity to read an advance copy and interview Meghan, so on my blog today I have both a review and interview.

The Frame-Up (my ranking—5 Stars!)theframeupcover
What a fun book! A clever mystery combined with a rom-com, The Frame-Up ticked all my boxes for a satisfying read–a witty, relatable sleuth, quirky secondary characters, interesting setting, rapid pace, mystery, and mayhem! I know nothing about the comic-con culture and it doesn’t matter. If you like mystery, fun, and light romance, read this book!

DF: Hi Meghan, thanks for visiting today! The Frame-Up was such a unique and entertaining story. How did you come up with the idea?
MSM: As cliché as it sounds, I had a dream about my best friend directing a squad of Drag Queen models through San Diego Comic Con to catch a killer. I woke up (literally) laughing out loud, told my husband and we both agreed I needed to write it down. It evolved into a story in my head, and BOOM. MG Martin et al were born!

DF: I really loved the protagonist, MG and her witty/snarky asides. Do you have a favorite character from the book?
MSM: Lawrence is my favorite. I identify with his love of Broadway show tunes, and his love of sequins! He’s such a complex and layered character, he’s been a ton of fun to write.

DF: Lawrence is pretty fantastic, in fact your secondary characters are all colorful. Are any based on real people in your life?
MSM: Wellllll…MG bears a physical and nerdy resemblance to one of my best friends, but is sort of an amalgamation of all the nerdy women I know. MAYBE one of the bad guys is modeled after someone who did a friend wrong, but I’m not telling, hahaha.

DF: This is your debut novel. Can you share with us how it all came together?
MSM: I started this book in March of 2016. By August I’d finished it and queried a small sample of agents with several R+Rs… I entered #pitchwars in August of 2016 and the rest is history! I re-wrote it for #pitchwars, and then again for my agent before sub. I think after editing for my publisher, this book has gone through at least 5 major revisions!

DF: Well, I definitely enjoyed the finished product! What’s next for you?
MSM: I am wrapping up edits on Book 2 for my editor and plotting Book 3!meghanscottmolin

Good to hear there will be more! Here’s a little background about Meghan, how to connect with her on social media, and how to buy The Frame-UP! Plus, a giveaway!

Meghan Scott Molin loves all kinds of storytelling. After studying architecture and opera at college, she worked as a barn manager before becoming a professional photographer. The Frame-Up is her first published book. An avid lover of all the nerd things—Star Wars, Star Trek, hobbits, Doctor Who, and more—Meghan also enjoys cooking, dreaming of travel, coveting more corgis, and listening to audiobooks in the barn. She lives in Colorado with her husband (and fellow zookeeper), her sons, two horses, a cat, and a rambunctious corgi. For more information about Meghan, visit her website at or follow her on Twitter (@megfuzzle), FaceBook, or Instagram.

Purchase the Frame-Up

And here’s the giveaway! (Link to Giveaway on FaceBook)

BOOK BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY! To celebrate THE FRAME-UP’s official book birthday, I’m giving away a signed/annotated (with neat stories and notes inside the book!) hardcover AND a super sweet WW tin lunchbox that is packed (packed!) with nerdy things that MG would love. It’s like she packed it herself! You have to “like” my author page, like the post, and share it to enter from facebook! You also get an entry if you like/retweet my twitter post (@megfuzzle) or my IG post! (@meghanscottmolinauthor). Contest ends December 6!

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Suanne Schafer and A Different Kind of Fire

I recently had an opportunity to talk with Suanne Schafer whose historical fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, released this month. I just finished reading it and found the book very difficult to put down.
A Different Kind of Fire is the story of Ruby Schmidt. Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and her dreamADKOF copy of becoming a painter, her choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen. A woman who doesn’t belong in 19th century America, finds herself as she—and our country—move into the 20th.

DF How did you come up with the idea for this story?
SS For years I’d wanted to write my paternal grandparents’ love story. Once I started, though, I realized that I wanted more than a family history, and the book morphed into a herstory, with a more feminist view of the 1890s. The American Gilded Age was such an exciting time for women with suffragettes, the Free Love movement, and a woman running for President of the United States. I wanted my heroine to experience that first-wave feminism while walking a tight-rope balancing her career with home and family.

DF Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imagination?
SS Bismarck, Ruby, and d’Este are based on family members but highly fictionalized. Some of the artists and other folks Ruby interacts with are real, but her interactions with them are, of course, straight out of my imagination.

DF I know from experience historical fiction can take quite a bit of research. What kind of research did you do for this novel?
SS The storyline obviously came from my own experiences, but I did extensive research on Buffalo Bill, the Panic of 1893, 19th century artists and academic painting, mixing pigments from scratch, Winsor & Newton art supplies, boarding houses for women, clothing, suffragettes, the Free Love movement, and women’s legal rights.

DF This isn’t a romance but it’s definitely about love. Can you talk about that?
SS A Different Kind of Fire is a love story on many levels, full of love triangles such as Ruby-Bismarck-d’Este and Ruby-Bismarck-d’Este and Ruby-Willow-Bismarck. If you add Ruby’s passion for art, these become love quadrangles and pentagons, all sides continually being skewed by strains between the people involved and art. Desire and passion are recurrent themes and a powerful force within Ruby: desire for art, desire for place (her connection to the land), desire for solitude, and passion for both her male and female lovers.

DF Your writing style feels similar to your description of Ruby’s painting style. You don’t soften or romanticize her world. Your writing is straightforward and realistic. Was that intentional? Is there some of you in Ruby Louise?
SS I can’t say I “planned” to write in a particular style for Ruby. That is just the way I write, rather lean and to the point. (I talk to patients the same way, no sugar-coating lab results, etc.) One of my Stanford professors compared my work to that of Cormac McCarthy and Annie Proulx—high praise indeed. Another said my prose was both laconic and elegant. I did feel somewhat constrained by the vocabulary of the 1890s. I’m not sure there’s much of me in Ruby (although I was talented enough artistically that my family thought I should follow in my grandmother’s artistic footsteps). I became a photographer instead and later switched to medicine, going to medical school at age 39.

DF Photography sounds like the perfect compliment to your writing style. In A Different Kind of Fire, you capture the essence of a woman of Ruby’s day, following her passions.

Suanne Schafer, born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War, finds it ironic that grade schsuanne_schafer-3264_ppool drills for tornadoes and nuclear war were the same: hide beneath your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. Now a retired family-practice physician whose only child has fledged the nest, her pioneer ancestors and world travels fuel her imagination. She’d originally planned to write romances, but either as a consequence of a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily ever-after, her heroines are strong women who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them.

Contact Suanne:


Purchase A Different Kind of Fire



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Kensington Cozy Con at The Poisoned Pen

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ is a mystery lover’s dream come true! The staff is helpful and knowledgeable and full of great suggestions. But the best part of the Poisoned Pen experience is all the mystery authors who come to the store to meet their fans and have a chat with Barbra Peters, the owner. However large or small the audience, Ms. Peters has a way of making us feel like a group of good friends.

Aside from the thrill of a close encounter with some of your favorite authors, it’s also a great place to meet new ones. I’ve read more mysteries than I can count, most of them historical, but I’d still never heard of Charles Finch untipoisoned-penl he stopped in at the Pen after the release of his fourth book. He’s now one of my favorite authors.

Sometime authors stay long enough to run a workshop for local writers. I’ve learned about plotting from Jane Cleland and my mantra; “every word matters” from Michael Koryta.

By now you should be getting the idea that The Poisoned Pen is a pretty big deal to me. I’ve been visiting the store for years and I love it, which is why I’m so excited that I’ll actually be one of the authors at the Kensington Mini Cozy Con at the Poisoned Pen on Saturday, November 3rd. I’ll be there with Tamara Berry, Lynn Cahoon, JC Easton, Jessica Ellicott, Cheryl Hollon, JR Ripley, Kim Roberts, and Rosemary Simpson! We’ll all be there from 1:00 – 5:00. Come and chat with us!

Find out more about the event here.

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Authors ’18, Rachel Dacus, and the Italian Renaissance. What do these three have in common?

I met Rachel Dacus through our debut author group, Authors ’18. We’re a group of 100+ writers whose debut novels released in 2018. If you aren’t already following our Facebook page, now is the perfect time to start. We’ve been giving away book bundles each week for the past two weeks and we’ll keep it up until we’re out of books! You like books, right? Here’s the link:

One of the best things about being part of this group is getting to meet other debut authors, reading their books, and interviewing them on my blog. Rachel Dacus joins me today to talk about her novel, The Renaissance Club. I love historical fiction and this story takes you to the past in a very magical way. I’ll let Rachel tell you about it.

RD The RenaissRENAISSANCE CLUB ebook (1)ance Club is the story of May Gold, a young art historian who falls through a fold in time during a tour of Italy. May’s lucky accident brings her face to face with the artist hero she’s specialized in, and dreamed about, 17th century genius sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. The meeting turns her life in the present upside down and forces her to decide if her adventure in time will ruin her life, or lead to a magical new one.

DF How did you come up with the idea for the story?
RD An art history tour of northern Italy, much like the one depicted in my story, kindled a wish to meet some of the great artistic geniuses behind the Renaissance. Though I know in real life, time-travel isn’t possible, I found a way to meet one of the most spectacular artistic geniuses who ever lived—by recreating him as my hero!

DF Is Bernini your favorite character in the book?
RD Though May and Bernini are my main characters, the story couldn’t exist without time travel guide George St. James. Based—amazingly—on a real person (and I won’t say whether he could go time traveling or not), George has his own complicated backstory and reason for helping others to realize their full potentials. The time traveling quirk he developed as a child was something he had to learn to tame, and like the person he’s based on, George became a master at turning unusual ways of looking at life into a way to serve others.

DF If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
RD I’d certainly spend a day with Bernini. Like May, I’d just watch him work. They said Bernini could chisel marble for eight hours straight without stopping. He himself reported that while working on a sculpture, he was in a state of bliss. I’d like to observe that, though I would need a lunch break! But who knows what would get started by simply observing a charismatic genius. As May discovered, all kinds of delicious complications might arise.

DF How did you get into writing?
RD I blame my mother and a wonderful bookstore in Long Beach, California called Acre of Books, which introduced me to the idea that I could own such books as the Oz books, Nancy Drew, and the rainbow fairytale books. I took the owning one step further and started writing books for myself to read.

DF How long did it take you to write The Renaissance Club?
RD I began with the concept seven years before I sold it to a publisher. That’s a long, long journey, and a nearly gave up toward the end, but because I had such fantastic help from top editors and beta readers, I just couldn’t. I’m really hoping my next book will be a shorter journey!Rachel - IMG_4803 Black shirt cropFlat copy (1)

DF I hope we don’t have to wait that long for your next book! What are you working on now?
RD I’m working on The Romantics, the story of two half-sisters who clash over their inheritance, a cottage in northern Italy, with its resident ghost, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

DF Definitely looking forward to The Romantics! In the meantime, here’s where you can buy The Renaissance Club. Or you can visit Rachel’s website for other purchase options. If you’d like to connect with Rachel on social media, here are her links:





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I’m falling behind on my posts again, but this time I have a good reason. Earlier this month I attended Bouchercon—The World Mystery Convention. It was four days surrounded by 1,500 fellow mystery lovers, about 600 of them authors, indulging in my love of writing, reading, and mystery.

This was my first Bouchercon and I went as both a fan and a published author, lucky enough to be assigned to a panel on historical research. That means I was both excited and very nervous. My panel was Thursday morning and we arrived Wednesday evening. After checking in (and getting our giant bag of books, Yea!) we stopped by the room where the panel would take place. It was huge. Take a look.
bcon empty room(That person waaaaay down there on the stage–that’s me. Yikes!)

Seeing this room took me from nervous, to complete wreck! I barely slept, terrified I’d forget everything, up to and including my own name. My nerves got increasingly worse as we entered the crowded room and took our seats. Then Deanna Raybourn said, “If you start to panic, just give me a nod and I’ll jump in.” I was so grateful, but as it turned out, once I started talking, I was fine. We were talking about books and research. It was fun and the time just flew by! Bcon panel

Talking Historical Research Panel (Anne Cleeland, Susanna Calkins, Katrina Carrasco, David Corbett, Deanna Raybourn, and me!)

This is also an opportunity to catch up with people you know on-line and meet them in person! I was thrilled to meet several friends from my debut author group, Authors 18. I met Gale Massey (The Girl From Blind River) and Aimee Hix (What Doesn’t Kill You) at the Debut Author Breakfast. Then met up with Carolyn Walker (Immortal Descent), Shari Randall (Curses, Boiled Again!), and Kari Bovee (Girl With A Gun) for brunch the next day!

bcon a18 friends

Once the panel and the Debut Author Breakfast was over, I could relax and enjoy the rest of the convention. Bouchercon is huge, but it’s also casual and friendly. There are plenty of panels during the day and opportunities to mix and mingle in the evening. For an introvert like me, “mix and mingle” are not necessarily words I get excited about, but in this case, everyone was talking about books so I was totally in my element!




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Criminal Misdeeds

I’m so excited to welcome Randee Green to the blog today! Her debut novel, Criminal Misdeeds released last month and put her right at the top of my list of favorite humorous mystery authors.

Here’s my review of Criminal Misdeeds:
The Shatners of Wyatt County Texas have a hard time staying on the right side of the law, though it might be a little easier if they actually tried. They deal incriminal_misdeeds_300 illegal moonshine, illegal pot, illegal fireworks, and an array of other petty criminal activities. It falls to Detective Carrie Shatner to keep them from straying too far out of line and ending up in jail. So when she finds a dead body at the county fairgrounds where the whole Shatner clan have been celebrating New Years’ Eve, it’s her job to prove a Shatner wasn’t responsible.

If you love a little (okay, a lot of) humor mixed into a complex, twisty mystery, this is your book. Carrie Shatner is not just a good detective, she’s the straight man to the quirky cast of characters she calls her family. Just as quickly as they cause trouble, she comes along behind them to clean it up with a wry resignation and down-home wit that will make you wish she were a real person and living next door. Well, sans the family. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

DF: Criminal Misdeeds is so twisty and quirky, how did you come up with the idea for the story?
RG: I first came up with Carrie Shatner when I was a senior in high school. This was way back in late 2005/early 2006. At that time, I was reading a lot of mystery novels starring strong, female sleuths, and I decided I was going to attempt creating one of my own. I also liked the idea of writing a series. Even as a teenager who was still trying to figure out this novel writing thing, I instinctively knew that, once I’ve created a character, I am invested in his/her life. I want to give my characters more than one book to tell their story.

I don’t really remember when or how Carrie Shatner exactly came to life. Like Athena, who came kicking and screaming into the mythological world directly from Zeus’s forehead as an armed, adult woman, one day Carrie Shatner was there. And I immediately knew that she wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon. This kick ass woman had a story to tell, and it was up to me to put that story into words. Basically, it was a hostile takeover of my brain…

Over the years, Carrie Shatner has gone through many transformations. In every version, she was in some form of law enforcement, but her job and place of employment changed more times than Cher would change outfits during her shows.

If this all sounds really confusing and frustrating, trust me, it was. At this point, the only thing about Carrie that hasn’t changed is her name.

DF: How long did it take to write the book?
RG: I worked on writing CRIMINAL MISDEEDS off-and-on for three-and-a-half years. I began writing CRIMINAL MISDEEDS in January 2011 when I was in grad school working on my MA in Creative Writing. It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 that I felt that CRIMINAL MISDEEDS was ready to be submitted to agents. I was almost immediately signed to BookEnds LLC. After some revisions, my agent began sending my novel out to publishers in the fall of 2014. It wasn’t until January of 2017 that CRIMINAL MISDEEDS was picked up by Coffeetown Press. Then it was another year of edits and revisions before the novel was published on July 1, 2018

DF: Your characters are quite talented at stirring up trouble, are they based on real people, or do they all come from your imagination?
RG: – Honestly, it’s a little of both. My main characters mostly come from my imagination, but real people have been the spark that ignited ideas for certain characters. Once that spark is ignited into a fire, the character I come up with in no way resembles that real person that got the process started. As for minor characters who appear once or twice and only play a small role…I’ve been known to base some of them on real people.

DF: If you could spend the day with one of them, who would it be and what would you do?
RG: I would love to spend the day hanging with almost all of my characters, but Carrie Shatner would have to be my first choice. She and I share a lot of similar interests and traits, so I’m fairly certain we would get along quite well. If I could spend the day with her, I think I’d just want her to take me on a tour of Wyatt County. I invented her world, but I’d love to have her show it to me. And maybe Carrie could take me to a Shatner family gathering so I could meet all of her crazy kin and pass the homebrewed moonshine around with them.

DF: What are you working on right now?
RG: I’m currently working on a new mystery series idea starring a spunky, strong, amateur female sleuth. I also have an idea for a historical novel that I’ve been doing some research on.

DF: Wait a minute! Please tell me there’s another Carrie Shatner book in the works.

RG: And I’m also working on the second book in the Carrie Shatner series, Criminal Chokehold.

DF: Yay! I can’t wait to read it!

Randee Green’s passion for reading began in grade school with LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, as well as a master’s and an MFA in Creative Writing. When not writing, she’s usually reading, indulging in her passion for Texas country music, traveling, or hanging out with her favorite feline friend, Mr. Snookums G. Cat.Randee (Bretherick) Green author photo 6-17-17

You can purchase Criminal Misdeeds Here

If you’d like to connect with Randee here’s where you can find her:



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Interview with Author Heather Redmond

I recently had the opportunity to talk with author, Heather Redmond about her new mystery, A TALE OF TWO MURDERS in which a young Charles Dickens is the sleuth. Here’s a little bit about the book:

In the winter ofA tale of two Murders HC cover 1835, young Charles Dickens is a journalist on the rise at the Evening Chronicle. Invited to dinner at the estate of the newspaper’s co-editor, Charles is smitten with his boss’s daughter, vivacious nineteen-year-old Kate Hogarth. They are having the best of times when a scream shatters the pleasant evening. Charles, Kate, and her father rush to the neighbors’ home, where Miss Christiana Lugoson lies unconscious on the floor. By morning, the poor young woman will be dead.

When Charles hears from a colleague of a very similar mysterious death a year ago to the date, also a young woman, he begins to suspect poisoning and feels compelled to investigate. The lovely Kate offers to help–using her social position to gain access to the members of the upper crust, now suspects in a murder. If Charles can find justice for the victims, it will be a far, far better thing than he has ever done. But with a twist or two in this most peculiar case, he and Kate may be in for the worst of times . . .

DF: Welcome, Heather. I read an advance copy of the book and loved it! What inspired you to write A TALE OF TWO MURDERS?

HR: A former editor of mine moved to a mystery publisher so I started pitching him stories. The Charles Dickens-as-amateur-sleuth idea was one of a group of four different historical ideas, since that was what I was known for. He chose that one and we went for a gritty vibe in what I wrote up for him. I ultimately sold the project to Kensington after a sample of the story was rewritten in much lighter fashion. We haven’t seen Dickens handled lightly in literature before so I’m breaking new ground.

DF: What’s one of your favorite elements in the novel?

HR: I loved trying to bring very subtle elements of Dickens’s actual novel A Tale of Two Cities into my book. I also tried to be as factual as I could be as to the biographical information. If I knew Dickens was somewhere on a given day or writing something specific on a given day I put it in there! I wanted a Dickens lover as well as a mystery lover to appreciate the novel.

DF: What makes your main characters, Charles Dickens and Kate Hogarth unique and worth caring about?

HR: I pitched Charles Dickens in 1835 as Leonardo DiCaprio circa 1996. People were talking about him because he was so good at his job of parliamentary reporting, and he was a great, charismatic networker, but he hadn’t broken out into superstardom yet. It’s amazing to think that Dickens was a superstar at twenty-four, not the usual sort of thing for a middle class, indifferently-educated man. His wife, Kate Hogarth, has been obscured by what happened to her marriage in later life. There has been an attempt to resurrect her life story, with what documents are left, and I really wanted to do her justice. I have to walk the thin line between the mores of the time and today’s modern reader, who might find certain aspects of relationships of the day unacceptable.

DF: You do a beautiful job of evoking the era. What type of research did you have to do to achieve that effect?

HR: I have been writing stories set in the nineteenth century on and off since 2005, so I have a lot of information in my head. In some ways I know that time period better than I know today! One thing I did this time much more than in previous books was read the newspapers in London during the timeline of my book. I also was writing about a writer, so I read both Dickens’s novels and his journalism. Of course, given that I was writing about a famous person, I could consult biographies of him and his wife and others in his world.

DF: Can you share your writing process with us?

HR: I come up with an idea, and sometimes write a couple-paragraph blurb about it to see if it pops. If it’s a Dickens book I reread my inspiration book (one of his novels) and figure out what kinds of characters and themes and plots he was using. Like any writer, I’m inspired by my own obsessions and life experiences as I start to build the story. Then I start brainstorming scenes and braid them into about 55-60 scenes that make up a cohesive plot. After that I write up a character list and a 2500-3000 word synopsis and send it to my editor for approval. Assuming it’s approved, I dream of writing one-three thousand words a day consistently and finishing a draft in three months, but usually I have to stop and start as other commitments hit. Eventually I do a couple of more drafts with beta reader input before sending it into my editor to start the official publishing process.

DF: What are you working on now?

HR: I am in book release mania right now, with two July 31st releases, A Tale of Two Murders as Heather Redmond and Krinar Solace as Heather Hiestand. I’m past the halfway point on drafting the third Dickens mystery, but it gets picked up and dropped as I have time.

A Tale of Two Murders releases today!   Purchase

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Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last known British ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century. She was ridiculously excited to make contact with second cousins in England this year for the first time.

As Heather Hiestand, she has completed two linked romance series with her publisher, Kensington, the late-Victorian set Redcakes, a seven-book series with action set all over the United Kingdom, and the 1920s-set and London-based Grand Russe Hotel, three books. She wrote five novels under this name for another publisher, has three self-published novels, and many, many novellas. Her 1837-set historical novel, The Princess Dilemma, features Dickens’s novels in the plot. Yet another pen name, Anh Leod, is largely defunct but some of the titles are still available.HeatherRedmondheadshot2

In a 2017 review, Author Patricia V. Davis said of Heather’s novel If I Had You, “This novel brought me back to my teen years when I would get A’s on my history tests, not because I’d retained the material from boring school textbooks, but because I’d read about the time period and events from a well-researched, thoughtfully written historical romance novel, with an unforgettable and intriguing heroine and hero. This author delivers all of that, and more.” Heather’s response was to take her detailed research out of the romance field and move on to historical mystery!

She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. All her schooling was in the Seattle area and she graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington, where she edited the English Department’s literary magazine for two years. Her titles have achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, has received a coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews.





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