Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Something Sweet with Sandra Bretting
Cozy Corner / February 20, 2017

Missy Dubois is the definition of southern charm in the small town of Bleu Bayou, Louisiana. She’s got sass and spunk, with a style everyone wants—and Sandra Bretting has brought her to life in a most entertaining way with her Missy Dubois Mystery series. I was elated when Ms. Bretting agreed to sit down in our Cozy Corner and chat for a spell. Kym: Welcome to the Cozy Corner, Sandra! Sandra: So glad to be here, Kym. I love your blog! Kym: Your first Missy Dubois Mystery, MURDER AT MORNINGSIDE, was released last summer by Lyrical Press. What captured your attention about Missy? Sandra: She reminded me of someone I met a long time ago who hailed from Louisiana. Missy is fearless: she follows her heart instead of her head. She’s not always prudent, but she’s always interesting. MURDER AT MORNINGSIDE by Sandra Bretting Missy DuBois Mystery Cozy [Lyrical Press, On Sale: May 24, 2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781601837134 / eISBN: 9781601837134] Milliner Turns Investigator to Solve Murder on a Plantation Buy MURDER AT MORNINGSIDE: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | iTunes/iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Amazon CA | Amazon…

Meet Wendy Lee, author of THE ART OF CONFIDENCE
Interviews / February 3, 2017

Liu Qingwu doesn’t set out to commit a crime. He only wants to sell a painting—something more substantial than the Impressionist knockoffs he flogs to tourists in front of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the lucrative commission he receives from a Chelsea art dealer is more complicated than he initially realizes. Liu has been hired to create not an homage to Andrew Cantrell’s modernist masterpiece, Elegy, but a forgery that will sell for millions. The painting will change the lives of everyone associated with it—Liu, a Chinese immigrant still reeling from his wife’s recent departure; Caroline, a gallery owner intent on saving her aunt’s legacy; Molly, her perceptive assistant; and Harold, a Taiwanese businessman with an ethical dilemma on his hands. Weaving together their stories with that of Cantrell and the inspiration for his masterpiece, Wendy Lee’s intricate, multilayered novel explores the unique fascination of great art and the lengths to which some are driven to create it—and to possess it. Lee e-chats with Writing a Woman’s Life columnist Yona Zeldis McDonough and reveals the ways in which her writing expresses the things she holds dearest. About Wendy Lee Wendy Lee is the author of the novels Across…

My Mission: Peachy Cozies to Blow You Away
Cozy Corner / January 31, 2017

As a reader, book covers catch my eye. As a writer, titles draw me in. My three features this week were complete head-turners that had me hooked at first sight. From the natural born enemies of MISSION IMPAWSIBLE , to cozy southern charm of WAR AND PEACH, to the wispy fresh breezes of the Oregon shore in BLOWN AWAY, I was completely captivated from cover to cover. Expand your horizons, and get cozy with three winning mysteries. MISSION IMPAWSIBLE by Krista Davis Paws and Claws #4 From the New York Times bestselling author of Murder Most Howl comes the fourth Paws & Claws mystery… In the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia, there’s no love lost when Holly Miller meets her match in a murderer… Holly and her grandmother, Oma, are working their tails off to prepare the Sugar Maple Inn for an upcoming matchmaking event for pet owners. While Holly has no interest in pairing up, Oma plans on playing Cupid and finding someone to warm her reluctant granddaughter’s heart. Unfortunately, one man Holly does meet is cold—dead cold—and he has a personal letter from Oma in his pocket. As suspicion is cast over the inn’s guests, Holly—with the help…

Cozies for the Dead of Winter
Cozy Corner / January 23, 2017

January is one of those months I find myself snuggling up in front of the fire with a good book instead of doing my grocery shopping. A good cozy mystery beats bundling up in layers and driving to the grocery store feeling like the Michelin Man stuffed inside a clown car any day. And if it means my family has to eat frozen pizza again, so be it. They’ll survive until the temperature rises, or at least until I’m done with my book. If you need an excuse to do the same, I have three mysteries that will have you pointing to the freezer when your hubby asks, “What’s for dinner?” Check these out, they’re worth the dirty looks. ASSAULT AND BERET by Jenn McKinlay Hat Shop Mystery Allons-y to Paris for more hats and homicide from the New York Times bestselling author of Copy Cap Murder! London milliner Vivian Tremont and her American cousin and partner, Scarlett Parker, tip their caps to their beloved shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill and set off for Paris, where Viv can’t wait to teach a hat-making class. But she has another reason to travel to the City of Light: to find…

Meet Ella Joy Olsen, author of ROOT, PETAL, THORN
Interviews / January 20, 2017

Ivy Baygren has two great loves in her life: her husband, Adam, and the bungalow they buy together in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the moment she and Adam lay eyes on the home, Ivy is captivated by its quaint details—the old porch swing, ornate tiles, and especially an heirloom rose bush bursting with snowy white blossoms. Called the Emmeline Rose for the home’s original owner, it seems yet another sign that this place will be Ivy’s happily-ever-after…Until her dreams are shattered by Adam’s unexpected death. Striving to be strong for her two children, Ivy decides to tackle the home-improvement projects she and Adam once planned. As she attempts to rebuild her house—and her resolve—she uncovers clues about previous inhabitants, from a half-embroidered sampler to buried wine bottles. And as Ivy learns about the women who came before her—the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs, the Greek immigrant during World War II, a troubled single mother in the 1960s—she begins to uncover the lessons of her own journey. Writing a Woman’s Life columnist Yona Zeldis McDonough asks Olsen some questions about how the idea “blossomed” into the finished novel. About Ella…

Meet Caroline Leavitt, author of CRUEL, BEAUTIFUL WORLD
Interviews / January 13, 2017

It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte’s youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare. Writing a Woman’s Life columnist Yona Zeldis McDonough catches up with Caroline Leavitt and asks how she found her way to this remarkable story. About Caroline Leavitt Caroline Leavitt is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow. Her essays and stories have been included in New York magazine, Psychology Today, More, Parenting, Redbook, and Salon. She’s a book critic for People, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she teaches writing online at Stanford and UCLA. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER YZM: How did this novel emerge in your imagination? CL: I’ve been trying to write this book since I was 17. In the 70s, I sat behind a girl in study hall and we talked, not…

Meet Barbara Claypole White, author of ECHOES OF FAMILY
Interviews / January 5, 2017

Marianne Stokes fled England at seventeen, spiraling into the manic depression that would become her shadow. She left behind secrets, memories, and tragedy: one teen dead, and her first love, Gabriel, badly injured. Three decades later she’s finally found peace in the North Carolina recording studio she runs with her husband, Darius, and her almost-daughter, Jade…until another fatality propels her back across the ocean to confront the long-buried past. In her picturesque childhood village, the first person she meets is the last person she wants to see again: Gabriel. Now the village vicar, he takes her in without question, and ripples of what if reverberate through both their hearts. As Marianne’s mind unravels, Jade and Darius track her down. Tempers clash when everyone tries to help, but only by finding the courage to face her illness can Marianne heal herself and her offbeat family. Writing a Woman’s Life columnist Yona Zeldis McDonough e-chats with Barbara Claypole White to talk about the genesis of this dark, haunting but ultimately uplifting tale. About Barbara Claypole White A Brit living in North Carolina, Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut novel, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN,…

Meet Holly Robinson, author of FOLLY COVE
Interviews / January 4, 2017

The Bradford sisters are famous in Rockport, Massachusetts: for their beauty, their singing voices, their legendary ancestors, and their elegant mother, Sarah, who has run the historic Folly Cove Inn alone ever since her husband disappeared. The two youngest sisters, Anne and Elly, fled Folly Cove as soon as they could to pursue their dreams and escape the Bradford name, while Laura stayed and created a seemingly picture perfect life. After a series of bad decisions, Anne has no choice but to come home and face her critical mother and eldest sister, reluctantly followed by Elly, another Bradford woman who’s hiding something. As the three sisters plan a grand celebration for their mother’s birthday, they struggle to maintain the illusions about their lives that they’ve so carefully crafted. But when painful old wounds reopen and startling family secrets are revealed, they soon discover that even the seemingly unbreakable bonds of sisterhood can be tested. Author Holly Robinson e-chats with Fresh Fiction Columnist Yona Zeldis McDonough about her page-turning new novel. About Holly Robinson Novelist, journalist and celebrity ghost writer Holly Robinson is the author of several books, including The Gerbil farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir and the novels Beach Plum Island…

The Best of 2016
Cozy Corner / December 19, 2016

It’s almost time to sing Auld Lang Syne and as I reflect over the blogs I’ve posted for 2016, I realize what an amazing year I’ve had on the Cozy Corner. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to interview authors whose experiences and careers are as varied as the mystery genre they write. Many thanks to Fresh Fiction and the generous writers who’ve graciously given me their time. But most of all, to the readers who click on the Cozy Corner to find out what’s new in the genre—thank you for making the past year awesome! Take a moment and think about your best moments this year: The stranger who did something nice without a second thought. The store employee who went out of her way to help you. Remember that lunch you had with your colleagues. That movie you shared with your friends. That special night with the one you love. And don’t forget all those wonderful books that kept you up late at night, even if you did pay the price the next day. 😉 There are so many good things to reflect on from 2016. Forget the bad, yet be mindful of how you can make a difference…

Getting Cozy with Charli Rae
Cozy Corner / December 5, 2016

Kym: “Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Charli Rae Warren in her hometown of Hazel Rock, Texas for an interview. Charli is a kindergarten teacher who came back to Hazel Rock after a twelve-year absence! She’s also an imaginary friend of mine who lurks in my brain and messes with my hair.” Charli: “I beg to differ, you’re the one who’s constantly messing up my hair.” Kym: “That’s because it’s so beautiful; I’m a little jealous.” Charli: “Really?” Kym: I roll my eyes. “No, I just like messing with you.” Charli: “That’s not very nice.” Kindergarten teacher stare. Kym: Laughing. “That’s not going to work on me Charli, I’ve seen a lot meaner faces in my day than yours.” Charli: “So, get to the point. Why did you bring me to The Cozy Corner—other than to mess with me?” Kym: “I thought readers would like to hear a little bit about you, after all, your story releases December 6th.” Charli: “Already? Wow, it seems like it was just yesterday that you were slapping me on a piece of paper, then scratching me out, and then building me up—only to tear me back down again.” Kym: “It was…