We Love Cozies

Today, I am featuring a particularly “sporting” book by  Charmain Zimmerman Brackett.

Murder Under the Magnolias (Grace's Augusta Mysteries Book 1) by [Brackett, Charmain Zimmerman]

Where are you from?  I was born and raised in Augusta, Ga., which is the location of my latest series.

 Tell us your latest book news? Murder Under the Magnolias was released on April 4 which coincides with the start of a prestigious golf tournament which I won’t name and I don’t name in the book because of copyright. Augusta is well-known for this tournament, and it draws thousands of guests to our fair city each year. I wanted to introduce people to my city through a florist named Grace, and her homicide investigator husband, Drew.

With the tournament in town, Grace is busy providing floral arrangements for the abundance of parties; however, the death of a young woman with a mysterious tattoo makes Grace wonder if there’s something more going on in her town than golf.

Murder En Pointe, the sequel to Murder Under the Magnolias is due out Oct. 3.

When a Russian ballet troupe comes to town, Grace is called on again to provide particular flowers to meet a diva’s unusual requests. When Grace discovers the dead diva strangled with the ribbons on a pair of pointe shoes, she finds herself helping her husband solve another case.

What inspired you to write your first book?  The Key of Elyon was my debut novel in 2012. The winner of the 2014 Yerby Award for Fiction at the Augusta Literary Festival,The Key of Elyon is not a cozy mystery but YA science fiction/fantasy.

My entire career has been spent as a writer. I’ve written for The Augusta Chronicle, the South’s oldest newspaper, for more than 28 years, currently serving as its art columnist and a feature writer. In my time there, dozens of people have asked me when I was going to write a book. I thought they were crazy, but around December 2011, my imagination was hijacked with the opening sequence to The Key of Elyon. I fell down the rabbit hole and never looked back.

What do you love about cozy mysteries?  I have always been a fan of mysteries. Nancy Drew piqued my interest at an early age. I still have my hardbound volumes that I purchased when I was in the fourth and fifth grades. I let my daughters read them when they were younger.

When I got older, I found the works of Agatha Christie intriguing. I’ve always enjoyed watching the amateur sleuths figure out the crimes and sometimes know more than the professionals. And I do like other types of mysteries as well.

What else would you like my readers to know?  I’m a multi-genre writer. It comes from 28 years in the newspaper industry. I’ve covered sports, government, the military, education, and the arts, and sometimes, that’s just been in one week. In addition to my Grace’s Augusta Mystery Series, I’ve written a series of six novellas with a journalist named Victoria James as the amateur sleuth. The first Victoria James novella is called Murder Under Twin Oaks, and is under the author name of C.Z. Brackett. I’ve also written two illustrated children’s books including Little Pearl’s Circus World, the winner of the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Award. It’s based on the true story of my great-grandmother, Pearl Clark LaComa, who started performing at the age of 4 in a circus owned by her father.

Murder under the Magnolias is available HERE on Amazon.

Thanks, Charmain! Can’wait to take a swing at this one. -LBT

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We Love Cozies

This week I am spotlighting a “puzzling” mystery by Diane Weiner.

A Deadly Course: A Sugarbury Falls Mystery (Sugarbury Falls Mysteries Book 1) by [Weiner, Diane]

Describe your cozy mystery, A Deadly Course.  Henry and Emily Fox are jolted from their peaceful semi-retirement in the idyllic community of Sugarbury Falls, Vermont when Emily discovers a dead body during her morning run. As if the discovery isn’t shocking in itself, Emily learns the dead body has a connection to the adult summer writing camp she is about to start teaching. With no apparent cause of death, Henry’s buddy, the coroner, suspects foul play. Neither Dr. Henry, nor former reporter Emily can resist solving a puzzle. As they work to solve the mystery, they discover an intricate web of relationships and motives involving the writers in Emily’s class. Along the way, they are confronted with a profound, life changing decision. Follow A Deadly Course through the first book in the Sugarbury Falls mystery series and see if Emily and Henry make it safely to the end.

You can purchase Diane’s book HERE.

Tell us about yourself.  I am a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. I’ve enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember and I have fond memories of Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark. Reading on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York made me yearn to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to readers. I am an animal lover, and because of that, a vegetarian. I am a pet parent to two adorable cats and a little white dog. In my free time, I enjoy running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with my family. Now that my youngest is off to college, I especially value spending time with my grown up children and am grateful that I truly love being around my two daughters, two sons, and my wonderful daughter in law.

How did your writing career begin?  I was inspired to write my first book after painstakingly writing my doctoral dissertation. The whole time I was citing resources and making sure every last comma and period was in place, I kept thinking how much fun it would be to just write! At school, my friends and I used to joke about one of the faculty members who baked cakes for the principal to ingratiate himself and help him move up the ladder to administration. He inspired the character of Antonio Petrocelli in Murder is Elementary. Of course, like any faculty, we sometimes (jokingly) wouldn’t have minded if someone murdered the principal! There was the germ of an idea that started my writing career:)

I’d wanted to start a second series for a while, but didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do. I got my inspiration while writing Murder is Legal, book 6 of the first series. Susan and Mike were invited to visit their friends who recently inherited a family cabin in Vermont. The book Murder is Collegiate (book 7), introduces the new characters, Emily and Henry Fox. Susan and Mike visit Sugarbury Falls and, of course, are confronted right away with a murder involving their old friends. The new series, The Sugarbury Falls Mysteries, features Emily and Henry as the sleuthing couple.

I am currently teaching my 29th school year. While teaching has its rewards, I would love to be able to be a full time author. I love being off in the summers when I can leisurely spend the whole day writing.

Thanks, Diane. I can’t wait to piece this mystery together!  -LBT


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We Love Cozies

This week I am spotlighting a book that really packs a “punch” by Amy Vansant.


Describe your cozy mystery, Pineapple Lies.  Growing up in one of Florida’s fifty-five plus communities, Charlotte never expected life to be wild. Golf cart racing with her surrogate mothers Mariska and Darla was about as nutty as life got…until she found the hot pawnbroker’s mom buried in her backyard.

Talk about making a lousy first impression.  Armed with nothing but her wits, Pineapple Port’s questionable cast of characters, and a growing crush, Charlotte is determined to solve the mystery of Declan’s mother’s murder.

Hey, at least this guy’s skeletons aren’t in his closet.

Available HERE on Amazon.

Tell us a little about yourself  I’m a professional nerd (own a web development firm http://VansantCreations.com) and I’ve recently started a book marketing site for authors called Authors Cross Promotion (http://AuthorsXP.com) that has a read and review program and weekly giveaway events that net authors hundreds of new fans! Woo hoo! Decided to do it because I wanted to take my own marketing in hand and a robust mailing list of readers is a great way to do it. I’m also a labradoodle mommy and have not yet choked my husband who lives and works with me at home. Every day.

Tell us your latest book news?  Right now I’m working on the fourth book in my Pineapple Port mystery series and toying with the first in a new romantic mystery series. I could tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you and I know WAY too many mystery authors. Someone would figure it out and I’d go to jail.

What inspired you to write your first book?  My first cozy is ripped right from my life – my mother-in-law lives in a place like Pineapple Port and I thought – wouldn’t it be crazy to be a young person growing up here in the 55+ community? She’s Mariska in the books.

If you could have a different career, what would it be and why?  Since I’ve been making web sites for the last 20 years and writing is something I do in between, my different career would be to JUST write! It’s really all I want to do.

What else would you like my readers to know?  My author’s site has a LOT of cozy mysteries available either through the read and review or the giveaways. Swing on by and get yourself some! Find a new series to love!

Follow Amy Vansant here:

Humor/Author Blog: http://www.amyvansant.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAmyVansant

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyVansant

Thanks Amy. Can’t wait to get a taste of this one!  -LBT

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Be Unique


As writers, we try to find a unique voice. That is, we want to have a personality and style all our own. That’s true in life, as well.

After all, can the world really handle another Kim Karashian or Justin Bieber? Still, there are plenty of people wanting to copy their looks, personalities, and lifestyles. It was sad to read about one young man who had plastic surgery to get Justin Bieber’s face and later ended up taking his own life.


Readers can recognize the style of their favorite writers. You wouldn’t have to read but a few pages to realize you have a Stephen King novel in front of you. That’s what I hope to develop as I continue on my writing journey.

Recently, I asked readers who subscribe to my newsletter to tell me who they thought I write like. I should have asked who they would compare my books to. The answers varied, of course. The only duplicate was Janet Evanovich. Since she is a best-selling writer, I was quite flattered.

My favorite answer was Agatha Christie. Anytime a writer is compare to the Great Lady of Mystery, it is an extreme compliment. One reader actually said that I write like myself. I suppose she meant that I have a unique voice. That’s what I’m going for.

As avid cozy mystery readers, you might also have an opinion as to whose books mine are similar to. One of the great things about cozy mysteries is that they vary greatly while still offering similar entertainment value. There are also several non-cozy mystery books I plan to write in the future. One is YA, another is a romantic cozy, and another is a traditional mystery. So many books: so little time!

In the meantime, I am working on Book 5 of the Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series. The working title is “Sharpe Point.” Poor Deena is stuck with her mother-in-law and a dead body. Can’t wait to find out what happens! I’ll keep writing like myself and see how it turns out. Besides, I will never be able to write like Stephen King any way.

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We Love Cozies

This week I am spotlighting a “gem” of a book by one of my favorite authors and my “Chief Beta Reader” Lia London.


Describe your cozy mystery, The Fargenstropple Case.  What Monty Python’s Flying Circus might have done with Dame Agatha Christie’s lost manuscript…

Invisible burglars who take nothing, but frighten the cat at meal times? This is hardly a case worthy of newly-promoted Chief Inspector Morgan. But when valuable jewels go missing and an attempt is made on Blandthorpe Fargenstropple’s life, Morgan jumps into action with keen interest. Of course, it helps that Blandthorpe’s niece looks nothing like a gargoyle.
With a quirky cast of characters, witty banter, a little romance, more than a fair sampling of animal life, and plenty of ridiculous mishaps, this cozy mystery will challenge your ability to read in any sort of dignified manner–so grab a tray of tea and crumpets and plan to laugh out loud.

Get the book HERE on Amazon.

Tell us a little about yourself.  I spend my days writing, advocating for fellow authors through Clean Indie Reads, helping my teens with homework, swimming, walking the dog, and practicing the organ so I don’t make a complete fool of myself when I play at church.

Tell us your latest book news. This spring and summer, I released two more nonfiction inspirational books in the Little Devotionals series, and now I’m writing another farcical romantic comedy based on a cross between reality TV talent shows and cheesy soap operas.

What inspired you to write your first book?  My first full-length novel came out of a dream. There wasn’t really a plot—just some characters and a general setting and mood. I decided to write about them to find out what they were up to. Within about 2000 words, I’d figured out the general plot points of a fantasy novel and went from there through about 652 drafts.

What has been your favorite review for this book?  “I was trying to decide what made this book so much fun. Yes, the humor and quirkiness are entertaining, and the mystery is engaging, but it’s so much more than that. This book has LIFE…and London never misses with her timing. Put it all together and you have the kind of book that will make you grin from beginning to end.”

What else would you like my readers to know?  I think Lisa’s books are as fun to read as the Agatha Christie novels I grew up on!

Follow Lia London here:



Thanks, Lia. I can’t wait to polish off this book!  -LBT

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