Posted in Characters from my books, Reading and Reviewing

Who Did Granny Fall For Literally? Franklin Gatsby, Of Course

Today Franklin Gatsby is visiting my blog. Franklin will tell you about his life, how he met Granny and came to reside in Fuchsia. We meet Franklin for the first time in Granny Hooks A Crook. Welcome Franklin.

I am happy to be here today. Most of the time the women in this series get the most publicity. I guess you could say the women in Fuchsia attract publicity and trouble, like honey attracts flies. Isn’t that what they say? I am never sure about old sayings anymore since I met Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt. She turns sentences upside down and keeps you wondering who the confused one is.

I moved to Fuchsia from New York City, retiring from my career as a detective back in the city. A quieter life was what I was looking for, but also an interesting one. I closed my eyes and put my finger on the map and it landed on Fuchsia, Minnesota. I had never heard of the town and Minnesota wasn’t even on my radar, but I decided you only live once and here I am.

Fuchsia surprised me. The first time I hit a pothole and reported it to the street department they laughed at me. The city boys explained to me if they kept the potholes, it slowed people down. They didn’t have to install rumble strips. Now I think the only person they want to slow down is Hermiony, or Granny as she likes to be called. She’s a word I can’t mention—on wheels.

I expected quiet and then they had a murder, found some underground streets, have a flamingo festival in winter and the women…they think they own the place so I questioned my decision to move. Granny actually fell in to my arms, probably tripping over the umbrella she used to carry. It was an interesting meeting. I wouldn’t want to cross her with that umbrella because she knows how to use it, and I don’t mean to protect herself from the rain.

I do have family. My grown daughters finally moved to Fuchsia but that’s a story for another time.

Granny reminds me of my mother. My mother drove me crazy. I thought Granny drove me crazy in a good way, now I am not so sure, but she sure makes life interesting.

After adjusting to life in Fuchsia I got back into the swing of things helping the local police keep track of Granny and helping out on their investigations. There seem to be too many shysters running around this town too, and I don’t mean the two legged kind. I love animals but this town loves, loves, animals. These people protect their own.

I hear my wife calling. Yes, I am married now. That too is a long story. It seems the new amusement park in Fuchsia is almost done and Lars, Granny’s nephew, is stuck on top of the new ferris wheel and needs to be rescued. Why they need this old detective for that I have no idea.

Visit us soon in Fuchsia. I think I am here to stay. After all those women always seem to catch their man and I was led astray and became one of them. Watch out if you visit. Your life may be compromised one way or another.

Click on the image to buy the series

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That was interesting. Thank you Franklin for visiting. You will find Franklin living in Fuchsia and still in the business of hunting down those who put others in danger. Although I am not sure if that means the crooks or Granny and her cohorts.

Posted in Characters from my books, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing

Meet Mavis from the Fuchsia Cozy Mystery Series

Today I welcome Granny’s friend, Mavis, to the blog. Mavis lives across the street from Granny. She introduced herself in the first book, Granny Hooks A Crook. Let’s see what Mavis has to say.

Welcome Mavis.

Hi, it’s me, Mavis. If you are looking for my picture you are going to look for a long time, because I save this beautiful mug for my pretend reality series only. I live across the street from Granny. I am known for producing and starring in my pretend reality series. The name of my series changes depending on what reality I feel I am in at any given moment.

Granny and I go way back to when she first moved to Fuchsia. She used to be boring but once her kids were grown she changed. I don’t quite know how to describer her —maybe wacky and wild. Yes, that’s it, wacky and wild.

But enough about Granny. This is supposed to be about me. I lived alone in my neighborhood. I passed the time hanging from my ceiling by my window. I needed that attention. Or sunbathing on the roof of my house in my bikini. I don’t want to hear I am too old for that. Doing that caught the attention of my neighbor George.

I did have a sister. We weren’t close. She stole my chance at fame when we were younger. You can read all about that in Granny Pins A Pilferer. Granny has this fear of wrinkle farms, but when we did a stint together there I found it to be a great place to meet men.

Life was very quiet until I got pulled into Granny’s shenanigans. I never thought I would worry about my life being in danger.

Finally, I got the house of my dreams. Of course, it happened after Silas’ house, which is next to mine, blew up and damaged my home. That was a blessing in disguise because now my home looks like a giant television and I can act in front of the big screen. Do you suppose I might get an Oscar someday?

I don’t have any kids. Granny’s kids are like my own only they let me live my life the way I want. Or maybe I live my life the way Granny wants. I have to think about this. We have been in a lot of trouble lately.

As far as romance—do you see me raising my eyebrows and winking? You’ll have to follow me in the series to find out if I do or I don’t visit Red Hot Momma’s Boutique. I do like the Go Belly Up Casino. I hope it doesn’t go belly up.

It’s been nice meeting you. Ask me questions. I might or might not answer. Make sure to introduce me to your friends. I’ll try to corrupt them and they will thank you.

Toodles for now. I do have a secret to tell you. Or maybe I don’t. If I tell you it won’t be a secret.

You can find Mavis in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Series.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

You Can, You Can’t, It’s Another Granny Rant!

Granny Bricks A Bandit the sixth book in the Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery series is finally here. It’s getting rave reviews but one reader brought up a subject I thought I would address. This fabulous reader felt Granny is a tad more subdued in her new adventure. I thought about the criticism and it might be valid.

Over the next few weeks some of  the residents from Fuchsia will visit my  blog. Hopefully Wednesdays will be visiting day but remember, Granny says life is to be lived so if something better comes up, my character for the day might follow a different path which leads them to mischief. But for today, here’s Granny.

 Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt, yup, that’s my name.  My mother was in a rhyming phase when I was born hence Hermiony Criony. At least she put Vidalia in there. My mother loved onions. She especially liked the Vidalia onion and I was the lucky one in my family that was named after an onion. I’m being sarcastic in case you  can’t tell.  You might guess I am not a lover of onions. Why couldn’t she have named me Cocoa after chocolate. I love chocolate.

I grew up wanting to run with my brothers. We had an apple orchard and I got out there as often as I could. I stopped some apple bandits one day but my mother and father never found out about that. I would have had to do inside chores forever if they would have known.

I always knew I could do anything I set my mind to but life in the time I grew up wasn’t a piece of cake for women’s lib, in fact they probably never heard of it.   I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, unlike a few of my siblings who I won’t name here, so I stayed home and became the daughter they always wanted. Ferdinand, my first husband, walked on water with the folks. There wasn’t much I could say when they wanted me to marry him. I caved. My spirit was kind of tromped on but I kept it alive secretly hoping someday I could have a different life. I never let go of the hope.

Then Ferdinand died. How could he leave me with all that responsibility. A part of me secretly felt free when that happened, but  I remembered the kids. Ferdinand was a good man but he certainly had an idea of where a woman’s place should be and it wasn’t the same place I thought it should be, but because of the kids I held back. And then he died and I still did things the way I was expected.

My kids grew up. I raised them up in the way they should go and they went Ferdinands way, so now I wonder what would have happened if I would have showed the real me. Between you and me, my kids are kind of boring, always following the rules and doing things the way everyone thinks life should be lived.

Once they were grown I could finally let it all out. I could be me. OK, you’ve got me. At first I kept it hidden. I wasn’t deceitful to my adult kids because I was scared of them,  it I felt wasn’t worth the effort to fight with my kids, in fact it was kind of fun to pull the wool over their eyes. Until, that is, they wanted to put me into the wrinkle farm. I knew I had to do something fast and it came to me. I needed a fiance and I found one.

However, my fiance didn’t like my secret life. I was undercover for the city of Fuchsia. He tried to tell me what to do. He told me I drove him crazy like his mother did. I never did meet her but I have a feeling we would have been friends.

Now I have a great group of very quirky friends. I found myself a man that accepts me as I am…maybe. I live in a wacky community that fits my wacky way of thinking. What more could I want?

So I will answer the question. Am I more subdued in Granny Bricks A Bandit? Maybe, or it could just be a ruse for the next book or… happiness has a way of toning me down. Did you notice I’m not as crabby as I was? Did you notice I am not as secretive? It’s also called Angel and Herman, my young grandchildren.  I want them to know I’m a little different, and it’s true,  all they have to do is look at my house to see that I’m different.

I have to go. The shysters are in trouble and we still haven’t figured out who Roost belongs to. So let’s put it this way. in case you are still wondering about me toning myself down.

You’re on a need to know basis and I don’g know what you need to know because I don’t know what I need to know so how do you expect me to know you need to know what I don’t know.

Leave a question. I might answer.

Granny Bricks A Bandit is also available on Kobo, BarnesandNoble.com, Nook, Walmart E-books, and more. Here’s the link.

Posted in Reading and Reviewing

Mabel, Murder & Muffins by Sharon Mierke

Mabel and Flori are not strangers to me. I became their fans when I read the previous books in the Mabel Wickles Cozy Mystery Series. Mabel is the main character in these series, an older woman, an amateur sleuth and a very interesting character. Flori, is her friend and gets dragged into Mabel’s sleuthing adventures.

This time they take themselves out of their comfort zone which is their little community of Parson’s Cove. They take a chance and travel to Yellow Rose, Texas. and an adventure where not only do they try to to track down a murderer, but meet new friends with cultural differences they are not used to. It makes for an interesting read and an even more interesting mystery.

The writing is superb in that it has more twists and turns and clever plots to keep a reader on their toes. I would definitely give this five stars. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait until the next book in this series.

Mabel, Murder & Muffins

In Mabel, Murder, & Muffins, Mabel and four other contestants win a trip to Las Vegas. When one of them, Grace Hobbs, is found murdered and left in the woods in Mabel’s hometown of Parson’s Cove, Mabel’s sleuthing instincts heat up. Along with her friend, Flori Flanders, and retired sheriff, Reg Snee, Mabel goes on a hunt for the killer. A search that will take her all the way to Yellow Rose, Texas. It’s then she realizes how complicated the mystery is when no one appears to be who they say they are. As Mabel says, ‘it’s like a story our of Alice in Wonderland.’

About the Author

“I’m not sure when someone decides to become a writer. I was once asked why I started and I said, ‘I got tired of reading so decided to start writing!’ Some dream about it but never do it and others are foolish enough to try. I have always loved Daphne DuMaurier’s quote: ‘Writers should be read and not seen or heard.’ I loved the thought of writing but having anonymity at the same time. I doubt that can be achieved in today’s world. I write to be true to myself. I share it because I hope others will find joy in reading it.”

As most writers, Sharon started writing short stories. After having several published and finding it hard to squeeze a story into only a few hundred words, she decided to follow her dream and write novels. 

Her book, VIRTUAL ENEMIES, is a mystery and introduces readers to Beryl Swallows, a retired police officer and now a private investigator. In this story, she is hired to solve a murder – by the victim herself. A mystery within a mystery. This is the first in the Beryl Swallows Mysteries. In the second, CASE CLOSED.not, Beryl finds one of her mother’s old diaries and it takes her back into a past she never knew existed. Was her own mother a murderer? 

Sharon has four current books in the Mabel Wickles mystery series: DECEPTION BY DESIGN, CALAMITY BY THE CAR WASH, COLD CASE CONUNDRUM, and FROZEN IDENTITY. Mabel is good at finding trouble; however, along with her friend, Flori, and other Parson’s Cove citizens, she always seems to find the way out. And find the guilty party!
Besides writing mysteries, Sharon writes historical fiction. Her first historical fiction, SARAH’S VALLEY, carries us on a journey from the east coast of the United States, through the Midwest, and up into Canada. The sequel, RETURN TO SARAH’S VALLEY, continues the story. Now it is Patrick’s turn to tell his life story to one of Winnipesaukee’s descendants. 
Her second historical fiction, THE WIDOW’S WALK, centers around life in the early 1800s on the Texas Panhandle and down to the island of Galveston. 
A poem written by the author’s mother, Ellen Bunse, in 1929, was the inspiration for Sharon’s latest book, OLD HOUSE. The house was built in the 1860s and through the next hundred years, you will read of all the people who found shelter within its walls, from a Texas cowboy with a bounty on his head, an old prospector, and a woman seeking refuge.  

Sharon’s books contain no graphic violence, sexual content, or coarse language.

Sharon Mierke and her husband live in Manitoba, Canada, where the summers are hot and the winters, cold. Their second home is Galveston, Texas, where they have established many friendships over the past twenty-some years. They have four grown children and four grandchildren. Sharon’s hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, and photography.

Join Sharon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin.
www.sharonrosemierke.weebly

Posted in Releases

An Interview with Author Allen Boyer

DSCF4006I welcome my friend and  Author Allen Boyer to my blog. His latest book The Blair House Cat Mystery was recently released by Cozy Cat Press. It is the second in the Dupree Sisters Series. C1cfWNtDtrS._SL250_FMpng_

I am always intrigued by the quirky behavior of cats. So when the Dupree Sisters find a cat on their doorstep and it has a spot of blood on it, one wonders what the cat has been into. We soon realize this stray cat knows more than it’s meowing indicates and the Dupree Sisters are kept busy unraveling a mystery surrounding our nation’s capital.  What secrets are the Washington elite keeping? I am not quite finished with the book as I just got it but I am enjoying it immensely.  I hope to finish it later today.  I haven’t guessed whodunnit yet and probably won’t because this book is skillfully written. So far I give it five stars. Now, remember if I can’t give a five or four star review on this blog I don’t post it.

Let’s meet Author Allen Boyer. 

Tell us a little bit about your life? 

It’s a balancing act as a writer and a father of three children.  Daily commitments take priority over writing time, which is okay.  In an odd way, they actually complement each other.  When I work on a book, sometimes I need a break and throwing a baseball or playing ping pong with my kids is a good way to let my mind fire on some creative ideas.  Getting time away from the laptop also helps to maximize my writing time.  When I sit down to write I know exactly what I’m going to do.

You have two series out the Bess Bullock Series and the Dupree Sisters series. The longer a series goes on, is it more difficult to write the next book because you might worry about readers not liking it as well as the others?

Yes, I thought about that.  Another concern for me was how some book series lead to the eventual killing off of regular characters.  I didn’t want to go down that road, which is why it’s taken such a long time to get another Bess Bullock story ramped up.  The next book, Discreet in the Heat, will be out later this year.  The theme of the book will be about the concept of “home” and how each person defines home in a different way.  Also, part of the storyline will involve a new life being brought into Bess’s world and the ripples it creates.

What was your inspiration for the Dupree sisters? ]

I had a friend name Charlotte Bouton, who has since passed away.  She was in her eighties when I knew her.  She had worked in the House of Representatives for many years.  Worked with historical figures like John Kennedy and Al Gore Sr.  When I knew her she was always perfectly dressed and sweet to talk to, but when the topic of politics came up she would be tough as nails on politicians and candidates she considered “lightweights.”  I liked that contrast of having this person with a grandmotherly appearance but, under the surface, having these great political experiences and this tough mindset about how Washington D.C. worked.

Tell us about your latest book, Blair House, Cat Mystery. 

It begins with a stray cat that keeps following the sisters home from church.  Of course, they begin to feed the cat, leading to it coming around more often.  One day, when the cat arrives with some blood on it, that’s when the story takes them to a dead body and love letters from an unknown author.  So the Dupree sisters have to connect the clues to learn the truth about what happened.

What is the most quirky character trait of the DuPree Sisters? 

Ruth Dupree, the younger of the two sisters, has presidential quotes that she likes to pull out for a variety of occasions.  I think she does it to impress other people, but it drives her sister, Charlotte crazy.  I think Charlotte has probably heard the same quotes too many times.

What are your characters most serious flaws? 

They don’t have a thick skin all the time.  Things happen that get them upset, or angry and sometimes their emotions can cloud their judgment.  There are many fictional characters who are emotionally distant and nothing ever bothers them.  We’re all people and we all have to deal with our emotions.  Ruth and Charlotte are no different.

Why Washington DC as the setting for mysteries?

Part of it goes back to the fact that my friend Charlotte Bouton worked there.  Another reason is that I live a few hours from D.C. and my wife and I like to take our children there during the summer for day trips.  It is a beautiful city with many layers to explore.  Checking out all the museums, buildings, monuments, and restaurants make for interesting trips.

What makes you smile? 

  My kids.

What makes you mad/sad?

Kids again, but fortunately there are many more smiles in the day.

Are you a full-time writer? If not what is your career and how does it lend it to your mysteries? 

I’m a technology teacher at an elementary school.  I have a good eye for observing people and I think that benefits me as a teacher and a writer.

Tell us about your Bess Bullock Series and how it differs from the Dupree Sisters. And do you have any other books out? 

Bess Bullock is Sherlock Holmes in a retirement home.  She notices the little details.  She has a good eye for people and will spot curious behaviors to investigate.  So in a typical Bess Bullock book, she’ll find a number of little mysteries to investigate and resolve.  The reading is light and the stories focus on human nature.  Charlotte and Ruth Dupree aren’t that observant.  They are longtime socialites so they have a lot of social connections to reference whenever they get stuck in an investigation.  The Dupree Sisters Series takes more of a traditional approach of having one death to investigate.

What is next for Allan Boyer? 

I have a goal of finishing the next Bess Bullock book, Discreet in the Heat, by June.  So I’m pressed for time to finish it, but I’m more than halfway there.  I’ve never released two books in the same year so that’s a new goal to meet.  After that, I’ll be going up to Canada for a week with the family to get away.  I’ll be putting away the laptop and grabbing lots of notebooks to fill while I sit by a lake in the middle of nowhere.

Did I forget to ask anything you would like us to know?

Just that I find it very satisfying to create a story that gives people an escape from their job, or worries, or routine of the day.  It really is a privilege to do that.

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Mathew 6:34

61nal+JmmEL._AC_US218_Blair House Cat Mystery

There are three things distracting Ruth and Charlotte Dupree from enjoying the usual pleasures of Washington D.C. social circles. A stray cat with a spot of blood on its fur. A set of love letters from an unknown author. A dead body. Join the Dupree Sisters as they employ their usual charm and good manners to uncover the truth behind The Blair House Cat Murder, the second installment in the Dupree Sisters Mystery Series.

More About Allen Boyer

Allen B. Boyer lives near Hershey, Pa with his wife and three children. He also lives near a retirement home that he visits with his children and his dog, Buster. If you enjoyed Gumshoe Granny Investigates, please check out Bess in her second book, Clues Over Croissants, as well as Married To Mysteries, Whispers In Winter and Suspicions at Sunset.

A second mystery series was begun with Death at The Presidents Church, the first installment that features two elderly sisters who use their social connections in Washington D.C. to solve mysteries. The first book dealt with the death of a homeless man. The second book in the series, The Blair House Cat Mystery, is just released.

You can find Allen at these links:

Amazon

Allen’s Blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet Allen. Happy Reading.

Posted in Book Reviews, Guest Authors

Fatal Flip by M.E. Bakos

619dW7BCKsL._UX250_M. E. Bakos is a new author and Fatal Flip is her first book in the Home Renovator Mystery Series.

How many of us find ourselves in the midst of a life change? How many of us have the courage to follow our bliss?  Katelyn has lost her job and she is in the midst of a career change. Of course, changes do not always run smooth. Becoming a Rehab Specialist in Minnesota she runs into a snag when she finds a dead body in the middle of her first project. Let the hijinks begin.

I like stories about rehabbing houses. I always, being a mystery writer too, imagine what the homes could say if they could talk. M.E. Bakos does a very good job of weaving a tale of mystery and leading us through the clues and mystery surrounding the residents of Crocus Heights, Minnesota. Her characters and pets throw an interesting mix into the story.  I look forward to her next book.

51cg4SIQ+KLFatal Flip

Flipping houses can be fatal! When Katelyn finds a dead body in her first home renovation project, she seriously doubts her decision to “follow her bliss.” After getting fired from her steady job, her plan to flip houses takes a hit when she becomes a suspect. After all, possession is nine points of the law, isn’t it? Especially, when it’s a dead body.
To keep herself in pizza, peanut butter, good coffee, and her stray cat, Boots, in kitty chow she takes survival jobs as a wine sample hostess and market researcher. Meanwhile, Sheriff Don is kind of hunky, and her ex-husband, Eddy (it’s complicated) is back in her life sleeping on her sofa. How’s a girl supposed to solve dead body mysteries, make a living, and find love?

M. E. Bakos

M.E. Bakos has published several short stories in national women’s magazines. Her love of mysteries has led to writing cozies. Her first mystery short story, “Carpe Diem or Murder at the Carp Fest” appeared in the Festival of Crime, a SINC Anthology. Her second, “Perfect Storm . . . Perfect Murder” will be in Dark Side of the Loon, May, 2018 also a SINC Anthology.
Her first cozy, FATAL FLIP, A Home Renovator Mystery has several home improvement tips for the reader.
Mary is a member of Twin Cities Sisters in Crime, the SINC Guppies Group, and an alumna of the University of Minnesota. She is a lifelong resident of Minnesota and resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Joe Sebesta, and their spoiled Morkie.

Links to M. E. Bakos:

Amazon