Check out the 2023 Indie Cozy Mystery
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Behind the Writing of Booked for Murder

Tell us about character traits that were fun or hard for you to include in the book.

The world is full of underdogs, unseen women and men who are the unsung heroes of their story. I wanted to write a book about a woman just like that; who is a lot like me, and possibly you. A real person with genuine struggles who has survived a personal tragedy, which led to a need to rebuild her life and to learn to trust again-if she ever can. I love hearing stories of survival and triumph. What I really love is seeing someone who is in the midst of their own battle, reach out and help someone else. It happens all the time. Can you think of a time in your life when you were struggling, but took time for a friend? Have you even known someone who overcame great adversity while quietly being an exceptional friend, mother, or neighbor? These are the people that inspired my book. The book is full of people, like the residents of the small town I live in, who accept and take in all the strays, stragglers, and mighty souls that end up here, on the left edge of the continent, tossed together in paradise.

What do you hope readers will take away from this story?

Life can kick you in the trousers and the world can judge you, but you are still of incalculable worth. Having a tick, trust issues, engaging in occasionally eating your emotions, and talking to dogs doesn’t mean you aren’t uniquely brilliant. You can still solve a murder and in your own imperfect way live your best life. No one really wants Barbie for a friend and neighbor, not even Barbie. She is beautiful and has a nice car, but she puts me right to sleep. Perfection is overrated. We want someone who can see us in the mess we’re in and get in alongside us for the ride—in the family van, or in Ivy’s case, on the bus. I hope you will see yourself in Balefire Bay’s characters, from Aggie the hilarious nurturer, to Jenny with all her common sense, and the author who appears to all the world to have it together but is actually hiding to protect a soft heart. I hope Booked for Murder’s happy ending reminds you of a time in your life when you realized how a great a group of misfits can actually be when they love each other.

Was there something major that happened in your personal life while writing this?

2023 was one of the worst years of my life. I am very much like Ivy, my main character. I fled to the sea for a new beginning many years ago. I hiccup when stressed, love dessert, and am beyond addicted to books. I thought I found my happy ending raising my kids in the sand and salt water of the Northern Oregon Coast. Years ago, I bought our small town beach house, and gave my parents the apartment in it. I put them the title to my home in case of death and to allow them to put the apartment into their trust. While I wrote this book, my husband left. Within two weeks, my siblings, who have power of attorney over my father, were worried that my divorce would interrupt their vacations in my parent’s apartment. They informed me the entire house was in my father’s trust and although I paid 29 years of payments alone; I’d lost control of my home—the trust owned half and was in charge. During the month the book was released, my father passed away. He was generous, loving, and we had a blast sharing our summers by the ocean. I traveled to his funeral with all six of my children. Thankfully, the most wonderful thing also happened in 2023. While my world fell apart, my cozy newsletter community, cozy mystery tribe, friends, and Author Ready friends were there for me. I felt loved and cared for. 2024-is turning out to be one of the best years of my life. More to come!

Indie Author: Yes
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Publication Date: 11-20-2023

Cozy Mystery

Page Count: 346 Pages


She is a mystery. He is a recluse who writes mysteries. Are they a perfect match or a recipe for murder?

Ivy Kelly is on the run and searching for refuge in the small town of Balefire Bay on the Oregon Coast. But when she arrives, she finds more than just a safe haven. Someone has died and one of her new friends could be the killer. On top of that, the people hunting Ivy want her to disappear permanently.

Ivy isn’t on the run long before she meets Aggie, a knitter, book club member, true crime sleuth, and part owner of Balefire Bay’s Book and Tea Shop. Aggie introduces Ivy to a reclusive author who offers Ivy the possibility of a new life that includes a dream job working in a library that looks like a mashup of Downton Abbey and Hogwarts. With a new life comes a new mystery, as Ivy finds herself enmeshed in a murder that the town is determined to keep a secret.

Is Ivy’s new employer a possible love interest or a stone-cold killer? As her past collides with her present, Ivy must risk everything to uncover the secrets of Balefire Bay. Join Ivy on this thrilling journey and find out who she really is and who wants her gone.

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