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Mystery Books in Audio!

We’re so excited Kaz Delaney’s Cupid, Cupcakes, and Carnage and T.A. Cruz’s Have You Seen Sarah Baker? have received audio deals!

Tule Author Q&A: Geri Krotow and her heroine were both in the Navy!

Geri Krotow stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the first book in the Shop ‘Round the World series, A Santa Stabbing!

 

Where did you get the inspiration for A Santa Stabbing

I find inspiration everywhere, and I never know where it’s coming from next. I knew I wanted to write about a woman who’d seen a lot of life but still had so much of it to live and enjoy, no matter what tragedies may have occurred earlier in her life. The town we live in, in Pennsylvania, is a constant source of story ideas for me. Add in my military background, and it seemed a natural progression for Angel Warren to be a retired Navy pilot. This is my very first mystery novel after 30+ romances and I feel right at home in my new genre of cozy (ish) mystery.

 

Welcome to Tule! Can you share a fun fact about yourself to help us get to know you?

Thank you! I love being a Tule author! I was a Naval Intelligence officer for 9 years, and then was a Navy spouse to my husband who served for 27 years. We moved all over the planet and are now happy to be in the same place.

 

Free Aerial View of Residential Area during Sunset Stock PhotoHow do you relate your heroine, Angel, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?

Like Angel, I moved to a small Pennsylvania town after being overseas and out of the mainstream of American life for decades. I totally identify with her empty-nest syndrome, as I went through that after my chicks left the nest (a decade ago now). As for her inquisitiveness, that’s natural for a writer and an intelligence professional!

 

The Shop ‘Round the World series is your first foray into the cozy mystery genre. What is different about writing mysteries vs romances? Which one do you enjoy more?

What I love about Mystery is the same thing I treasure in Romance; the characters and sense of community. The biggest difference is that I feel I need to write more tightly, to keep the focus on the mystery plot of each particular book. But fleshing out the characters, their strengths as well as foibles, remains the same and as satisfying as ever. I also like that my sense of humor has shown up more in my mysteries. 

 

Free Close-Up Photo of Christmas Tree Stock PhotoDo you have any favorite Christmas or holiday traditions?

Decorating for the holidays is always fun for me. I never know what I’ll do year-to-year. I don’t feel as compelled to put out every last decoration as I used to when the kids were tiny. Instead, I go with the flow and try to incorporate some more contemporary trends into our otherwise very eclectically traditional Christmas. I’ve enjoyed decorating for Thanksgiving more and more, too. 

 

What are you currently reading?

I’m in the midst of EverGreen Chase by Juneau Black and I just downloaded A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

 

About the Author

Geri Krotow is the bestselling author of over 25 novels of romantic suspense, contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A US Naval Academy graduate and Navy veteran, Geri’s strong heroines are reader favorites. Geri’s Shop ‘Round the World series with Tule is her cozy mystery debut.

Tule Author Q&A: Katherine Cowley discusses Mary Bennet’s growth!

Katherine Cowley stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in The Secret Life of Mary Bennet series, The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception!

Where did you get the inspiration for The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception?

In 2014 I read the book Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. The book is dense and took me a long time to read—at least six months—but I ended up really enjoying it. What I didn’t realize before reading Vanity Fair was that tons of women, of all classes of society, went with the British troops to Brussels before the Battle of Waterloo. While some of the women stayed in Brussels during the fighting, others accompanied the men to the battlefield.

This kernel of information stuck in my mind and became the inspiration for the novel. I wanted Mary Bennet to go to Brussels and participate in the events that led to the downfall of Napoleon Bonaparte, while solving a murder mystery.

 

How has Mary changed throughout the course of The Secret Life of Mary Bennet series? 

By the third book, Mary is more confident in herself and her abilities. She’s also more able to keep going, even in the face of struggle, adversity, and heartbreak.

At the beginning of the first novel, she doesn’t have true friendships or strong relationships. By the third novel, she has developed meaningful friendships with family members and others. These friendships have become an important part of Mary’s life and have changed the way she views the world around her.

 

Mary has a budding romance with Mr. Withrow in this third installment. How did you balance the moments of romance within this mystery novel?

The first thing I did was choose a few key scenes that would focus almost entirely on the romance. One is near the end of the very first chapter, when the spies are doing kissing practice, so they can use physical affection in the field as a tool to discover information. Another is later on in the book when Mary and Mr. Withrow are learning the Viennese Waltz. And of course, there is a very essential scene at the end of the book. These key scenes gave me a chance to really explore the romance and create shifts in their relationship.

In the rest of the novel, I included bits and pieces of romance and relationship development while Mary and Mr. Withrow solve the murder mystery. Working together as partners created many opportunities to include a few lines of banter or create some tension between them. They sit in the carriage a little closer than normal; Mr. Withrow’s hand brushes Mary’s skin as he helps her with a disguise; they disagree about the best way to get information from a suspect and must later apologize.

Many of my favorite novels have a romantic subplot, where the characters build their relationship while having an adventure or solving the mystery, and I loved getting to write this sort of subplot in my novel. Every single investigation scene becomes more interesting when it’s also impacting a romance.

 

Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

I set aside time from 1-3 p.m. every day to work on this book. This was quiet time for my youngest daughter, and it didn’t matter what other life commitments or responsibilities I had pressing on me, this time was devoted to writing the novel.

I do most of my writing in my office. My desk is next to the back window of my house, and from it I can see a small patch of forest that has birds and squirrels and rabbits.

 

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading Naomi Hirahara’s Clark and Division, an excellent murder mystery that also explores what life was like for Japanese Americans during World War II. I also recently read Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, which is a delightful, humorous story about a group of retirees who take it upon themselves to solve a murder.

My giant to read pile is calling my name, and I’m still choosing what book I’m going to read next!

 

About the Author

Katherine Cowley’s debut novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Mary Bennet spy series continues with the novels The True Confessions of a London Spy and The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception.

Katherine loves history, chocolate, traveling, and playing the piano, and she has taught writing classes at Western Michigan University. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband and three daughters.