Louisiana Legal Thrillers with Global Themes with Michael H. Rubin

Not every author can combine history, mystery and legal issues in one book.

Michael H. Rubin, and his co-author Ayan Rubin, accomplish just that with their Bayou Thrillers set in the historical melting pot of South Louisiana.

Michael and I discuss how he and his wife manage to share the task of writing compelling, page-turning legal thrillers, which seems to include no small number of very early morning walks.

You can find out more about today’s guest, Michael H. Rubin, and all his books on his website MRubinBooks.com. You can also find him on Twitter @MichaelHRubin.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

  • Click on any of the book covers to go to Michael’s books on Amazon

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

Solving Mysteries and Dodging Bullets Way Off Broadway with Cindy Brown

Cozy mystery author Cindy Brown is slightly silly, but also very serious about writing stories that matter to her.

50 Cindy BrownIn this wide-ranging interview, Cindy mentions some great writing advice she got from a Star Wars screenwriter and how that has informed her Ivy Meadows mysteries.

She also shares some fascinating facts about Annie Oakley. When Cindy was researching her latest book, Ivy Get Your Gun, she discovered that Annie was not only a cracker-jack shot, she was a determined and brave business-woman who was reportedly kind and generous despite her fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This reminded me of how much fun it is for writers like Cindy (and me) to weave real life events, people and places into our fictional stories. And of course, we sincerely hope it is as much fun for our readers when they get our books in their hands!

You can find out more about today’s guest, Cindy Brown, and all her books on her website CindyBrownWriter.com. You can also find her on Twitter @friendlybrown.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

  • Click on any of the book covers to go to Cindy’s books on Amazon

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

A TV Journalist Who’s Trying to Avoid Being Caught Dead in Wyoming with Patricia McLinn

Former newspaper editor and multi-genre author Patricia McLinn lets the muses guide her when she writes her books.

49 Patricia McLinnI confess that as a writer I don’t have nearly as much confidence as today’s podcast guest, Patricia McLinn. This interview was fascinating for me because Patricia shares a bit about her writing process, which does not involve outlines and planning – even when she’s writing mysteries!

Patricia also writes romance, but today we’re focused on her Caught Dead In Wyoming series. Book 6 in the series, Back Story, will be published in October 2017, and in the meantime you can start at the beginning of journalist, and amateur sleuth, Elizabeth Danniher’s story with Sign Off, which is free in ebook form right now.

You can find out more about today’s guest, Patricia McLinn, and all her books on her website PatriciaMcLinn.com. You can also find her on Twitter @PatriciaMcLinn.

Click on any of the book covers to go to Patricia’s books on Amazon.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

Who killed the pottery teacher? Book excerpt from Gilian Baker’s new cozy mystery

I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Gilian Baker’s new Jade Blackwell mystery, A Time to Kiln.

Gilian chatted with me about Book 1 in this series on Episode 37 of It’s a Mystery podcast. Today you can read an excerpt from the newest book in the series. Take it away, Gilian!

Book excerpt Time to KilnIn this excerpt from the new Jade Blackwell Mystery Series, A Time to Kiln, Jade has formed a theory about who killed her pottery teacher, Paula Hexby.

After Paula’s husband, Dillon, made a scene at his wife’s funeral last night with local real estate agent, Jack Bristol, she thinks she’s got it nailed.

The next morning I was sitting in my office, but I wasn’t working. Instead, I was creating a timeline of the murder, struggling to connect the dots. Even though there was now another suspect, my money was on Jack Bristol. Last night’s brouhaha didn’t prove Jack was Paula’s murderer, but it did earn him another tick beside his name on my timeline.

I could see Paula falling under Jack’s spell—he was smooth and came off as worldly and sophisticated, even though he was really a small town boy. He was handsome and in my opinion, a better candidate for a fling than Roger Graver, who was much older and definitely not debonair.

Clearly Dillon hated Jack, but admittedly, it could have been for many reasons. Jack Bristol had few friends in the community, though we’d all done business with him at one time or another. But, Dillon detesting Jack because of an affair with his wife fit nicely into my theory.

Unfortunately, there were problems with my theory as well. For example, why would Paula and Jack use the studio as a love nest when they could’ve gone to Jack’s house? It would certainly be more comfortable and private since his house was farther out of town than the studio. If he were going to kill her, wouldn’t it be safer to do so at his own home? There he would’ve had time to bury the body on one of the acres he owned. It would have been nearly impossible for the sheriff’s department to find the body, even if he was suspected of the crime.

Even though I didn’t have the answers to those questions, I still liked Jack for the murder. I didn’t know him well since I’d never personally done business with him, and I’d been happy to keep it that way. However, I concluded that I now needed to get better acquainted with our local realtor.

***

Driving into town a few minutes later, I invented a story to sell my impromptu meeting with Jack. The melee last night would come up naturally in the conversation, Jack being the bragging type, but I came up with a lame cover story, just in case.

I slid into a parking space in front of Bristol’s Realty Office. All the lights were off, and even with my new bifocals, I couldn’t read the sign hanging on the door. Sighing, I unfastened my seatbelt and got out of the car. Seems he was out of the office, but there was a cell number listed so I could inform him of my real estate needs. Fat chance.

Sighing again, I got back into the car and dialed the number as instructed. It rang repeatedly until his voicemail kicked in. As I listened to his arrogant voice giving me instructions, I wondered if I should bother leaving a message. What the heck, I might as well, since he was probably rarely in his office.

After the beep, I left my fabricated story and asked him to call me on my cell phone. I clicked off the call after reciting my number. What should I do now? I’d been psyched to talk to him, so the thought of going back home to work left me feeling apathetic. Did I have any errands to run? I couldn’t think of any. Shoot.

On impulse, I started the car and headed to Paula’s Pottery Barn. I wouldn’t mind getting another look at those pieces with the opalescent glaze—the ones I suspected were the product of the pilfered recipe. Even if no one was around, I might be able to get a good look at them through the big front windows Paula had installed to show off her work before customers had even walked in the door.

It was another beautiful, breezy day, and I took full advantage of being out of the office. I rolled down my windows and turned up the 80s radio station. I sang along with REO Speedwagon …And I’m going keep on lovin’ youuuuuu…The song ended, and the station went to a commercial break right as I pulled into the driveway. Perfect timing. There didn’t seem to be anyone around, though I hadn’t really expected there to be.

I shut off the car in the middle of an ad by a local garage offering a special on snow tires. I didn’t want to think about the snow and cold on such a gorgeous day. Maybe I’d spend some time in the garden when I got home. I was speculating why weeds grew so much faster than things I planted when, out of habit, I turned and pulled on the door knob. To my amazement, it opened.

I’d want to keep my store locked up, even in rural Wyoming, but I shrugged to myself and walked around the large open space, viewing a matching set of teacups and pot all done in the opalescent glaze. Picking up one of the cups, I was astonished by how sturdy it looked, and yet, how light and elegant it was. It took a real artist to throw such a light cup. My attempt would’ve weighed five pounds if it weighed an ounce. I felt a sadness at the loss of such a talented young lady, even if she ended up being a thief and adulteress.

Caressing the smooth, glossy finish, I walked around looking at other pieces on display, when I saw a shoe lying on the floor near the studio door. As I neared it, I gasped and dropped the cup. The sound of it smashing into bits reverberated in my head as time seemed to stand still.

I now knew why Jack hadn’t answered his phone. He was lying on the cement floor of the dusty pottery studio, dead.

Find out if Jade eventually figures out who killed Paula and Jack by grabbing a copy of A Time to Kiln, the latest installment in the Jade Blackwell Mystery Series here.

Gilian BakerGilian Baker is a former English professor who threw in the towel and decided to show ‘em how it’s done. She’s gone on to forge a life outside of academia by adding blogger, ghostwriter and cozy mystery author to her C.V. She currently uses her geeky superpowers only for good to entertain murder mystery readers the world over. When she’s not plotting murder for her Jade Blackwell cozy mystery series, you can find her puttering in her vegetable garden, knitting in front of the fire, snuggling with her husband watching British TV or discussing literary theory with her daughter.

Gilian lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her family and their three pampered felines. In her next life, she fervently hopes to come back as a cat, though she understands that would be going down the karmic ladder. She’s the author of Blogging is Murder and A Time to Kiln.
Be the first to learn about new releases and discounts, plus get exclusive content by signing up for Gilian’s email list by clicking here.

A Time to Kiln: A Jade Blackwell Cozy Mystery (Book 2)

A Time to KilnDisenchanted with life after solving her first real case, Jade Blackwell, successful blogger and amateur sleuth, throws herself into a new hobby…until murder rears its ugly head.

But when Jade attempts to ferret out the killer of local pottery teacher, Paula Hexby, she comes up short and suspicion begins to descend on her daughter’s former boyfriend. Evidence and bodies are stacking up, as Jade finds herself caught between an untrustworthy client and her beloved community.

Now at a personal and professional crossroads, Jade must once again jump into the breech, along with partner Gabrielle Langdon, to uncover the truth behind this string of horrific murders. Is she really cut out for this life of sleuthing and danger? Has Jade been defending the real murderer all along? Or is there something much more sinister afoot?

Cozy Mystery Antique Hunters and a Witch Lost in Time with Vicki Vass

Have you ever wondered if your favorite characters from books were based on real people?

Podcast with Vicki VassToday author Vicki Vass answers that question for us. Her Antique Hunters cozy mystery protagonists are based on two of her close friends. Now these are ladies I’d love to meet.

Vicki and I also spend time talking about her latest mystery, Bloodline, a book that cozy mystery reviewer Karen Owen named the best mystery she’s read so far in 2017.

You can find out more about today’s guest, Vicki Vass, and all her books on her website VickiVass.com. You can also find her on Facebook at VickiVassAuthor.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

  • Click on any of the book covers to go to Vicki’s books on Amazon

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

A Feisty Scottish Detective Inspector and YA Mysteries with Wendy H. Jones

While author Wendy H. Jones’ Dundee, Scotland based police procedurals are grounded in the present, she’s not afraid to mix in a little fantasy and magic in her Young Adult mysteries.

Wendy H JonesWendy has a lot on her plate; she’s written six books in the DI Shona McKenzie series (five published so far with the sixth coming out in August 2017). Now she’s added a young adult series to her repertoire. AND she’s organizing a writing and reading festival at Glamis Castle in Scotland.

We talk about all of this today, and below you’ll find links to everything, including the book festival.

Keep your eyes on Wendy H Jones! She’s clearly a lass to be reckoned with. 😉

You can find out more about today’s guest, Wendy H Jones, and all her books on her website WendyHJones.com. You can also find her on Twitter @WendyHJones.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

  • Click on any of the book covers to go to Wendy’s books on Amazon

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

Thriller Inspiration from Dick Francis with Sasscer Hill

Author and former jockey Sasscer Hill has been inspired by both her literary heroes and her real life when it comes to writing her horse racing thrillers.

Sasscer HillAnyone who knows me well knows what a loon I am about the late author Dick Francis. He was a champion jockey in the UK, who rode for the Queen Mother among others, before he became a bestselling author.

My guest today, Sasscer Hill, shies away from comparisons to Francis, but I suspect her horse racing novels might appeal to Dick Francis fans among my listeners. Sasscer endeared herself to me by not only citing Francis during our interview, but also two of my other favorite authors; Robert B. Parker and Walter Farley. Our conversation felt like a match made in heaven. 😉

Peter Bartram trilogyIn other mystery novel news, It’s a Mystery Podcast guest Peter Bartram (episode #27) has a new trilogy of books out this month in his Colin Crampton 1960s journalism series. You can learn more about the Morning, Noon, and Night trilogy at ColinCrampton.com.

You can find out more about today’s guest, Sasscer Hill, and all her books on her website SasscerHill.com. You can also find her on Twitter @SasscerHill.

Click on any of the book covers to go to Sasscer’s books on Amazon.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

An RCMP Officer Who Comes From Away With Mike Martin

How many mysteries do you know of that are set in Canada’s easternmost province?

Mike MartinChatting with Mike Martin during this interview made me appreciate how vast and varied Canada is. Mike writes about an Alberta Cree man who now lives in Newfoundland, while I write about characters at the extreme opposite end of our huge country.

Where we’re from and where we end up can often be two very different places. Mike and I touch on the idea that outsiders in a small community can have a perspective that longtime residents might not have. This can be essential sometimes for a mystery author’s sleuth 😉

I am personally always intrigued by how the places in a novel inform the stories and affect the characters. Mike’s protagonist, Sgt. Windflower, has the unique experience of being from rural Northern Alberta. But he seems to have become quiet attached to the small Newfoundland community he finds himself in.

You can find out more about today’s guest, Mike Martin, and all his books on his website SgtWindflowerMysteries.com. You can also find him on Twitter @mike54martin .

Click on any of the book covers to go to Mike’s books on Amazon.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

Globetrotting Spy Thrillers with Alan Petersen

Thriller author, and podcast host, Alan Petersen puts the writing adage, ‘Write what you know’ to good use in his Pete Maddox series.

Alan PetersenAs you’ll hear, Alan was born in Costa Rica and grew up in South America. He’s making the most of that experience by setting his first couple of fast-paced spy thrillers in that part of the world.

But he doesn’t stop there and you’ll hear us chat about the varied locations he’s now introducing into his books and how he goes about researching locations he’s never been to. Not to mention the CIA!

If you like your mysteries a bit more on the thriller end of the spectrum (think James Bond or Jason Bourne) then you’ll love Alan’s books. He’s got two available now and the third one will be published very soon.

Also, if you like thrillers, check out Alan’s podcast, Meet the Thriller Author. It’s another great source for readers looking for new books to read and authors to follow. 😉

You can find out more about today’s guest, Alan Petersen, and all his books on his website AlanPetersen.com. You can also find him on Twitter @AlanPetersen.

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

  • Click on any of the book covers to go to Alan’s books on Amazon

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Keep reading →

What’s your desert island book?

If you could only take one book with you when you were stranded on a desert island, what would it be?

Desert island bookTricky question, right?

It’s one of 10 thought-provoking questions that the lovely and talented Malcolm Richards asked me recently for his Ten Questions With… series on his blog.

You can read my answers on Malcolm’s site here.

I’d love to hear from you: what book would you choose to take to a desert island?

Leave a comment and let me know.

You’ll see that I didn’t give a definitive answer to Malcolm – I couldn’t choose!! 😉 Please let me know if you would have less trouble making a choice in that circumstance that I would.

(Also, if you’d like to learn more about Malcolm and his psychological mysteries, he was a guest on It’s a Mystery Podcast and you can listen to my interview with him here.)