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Author Q&A ft. @wendysandeckel | HAPPY HOMICIDES 5 + $50 Etsy GC #Giveaway | @GoddessFish Presents Cozy #Mystery anthology

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for HAPPY HOMICIDES 5: The Purr-fect Crime, a cozy mystery anthology available ...

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for HAPPY HOMICIDES 5: The Purr-fect Crime, a cozy mystery anthology available now.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found at the bottom of the post.

Happy Homicides 5: The Purr-fect Crime

by Joanna Campbell Slan, Linda Gordon Hengerer, LouLou Harrington, Neil Plakcy, Teresa Trent, Terry Ambrose, Amy Vansant, Randy Rawls, Christina Freeburn, Wendy Sand Eckel, and Karen Cantwell


GENRE: Cozy Mystery anthology



The purr-fect way to meet your new favorite author! This collection of traditional mysteries will be like catnip for feline-friendly readers. It’s paw-sitively the best Mother’s Day gift ever. Plus, you can email us to get a FREE Bonus File with recipes and holiday craft ideas. You’ll enjoy stories by these bestselling and award-winning authors: Joanna Campbell Slan, Linda Gordon Hengerer, David Bishop, LouLou Harrington, Neil Plakcy, Teresa Trent, Terry Ambrose, Amy Vansant, Randy Rawls, Christina Freeburn, Wendy Sand Eckel, and Karen Cantwell.

For more information, go to



THE NAMING OF CATS: A Rosalie Hart Mystery

Wendy Sand Eckel

Editor’s Note: The quaint little town of Cardigan on Maryland’s Eastern Shore seemed like the perfect spot for Rosalie Hart to open the Day Lily Café. A flat stretch of land between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern Shore is home to crusty watermen, dug-in farmers, and people who are fiercely proud to call it home. Rosalie has enough on her plate running the restaurant. But when her Maine Coon uncovers a mystery, the cat has been let out of the bag.

Chapter 1

“Your cat is up to something,” Tyler said as he walked into my kitchen. I set a steaming cup of coffee next to him and watched as he scrubbed his hands under the faucet.

“I think Sweeney Todd is happy to be outside.” I lifted my coffee mug and blew over the surface to cool it. “This is the first day it hasn’t rained in over a week.”

He dried his hands and turned to face me. “Thanks for the joe.”

Tyler Wells leased the farmland of my new home, Barclay Meadow. It wasn’t really my choice to move here. Three years ago, when my dear Aunt Charlotte bequeathed me this two-hundred-year-old house and the vast land surrounding it, I was happily immersed in my married life in Chevy Chase. But all that changed when my husband of over twenty years pronounced his love for a much younger and blonder version of me.

The sun streamed through the windows, warming the honey wood floors. Tyler and I had fallen into the habit of sharing a cup of coffee every morning before we started our days. I checked the clock. I would be leaving soon to go to the restaurant I recently opened, the Day Lily Café, currently serving breakfast and lunch five days a week in the sleepy little town of Cardigan.

Tyler brushed his sandy blond hair off his forehead. “Sweeney is digging pretty close to the vegetable gardens. You might want to stop him.”

“I’m on it.” I set my coffee down and headed outside.

My shoes squeaked on the grass as I rounded the house. A dense mist rose from the Cardigan River at the end of the sloping lawn. It was a beautiful spring morning on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

I spotted Sweeney by an old Sycamore tree. Its trunk was gnarled and twisted looking like something out of Sleepy Hollow. He was digging furiously at the ground with his front paws.

My adopted Maine Coon cat was originally named Sweetie Pie. But on the first day I brought him home, he slaughtered four goldfinches in under an hour. That’s when Tyler suggested the name change. At the precise moment I started to disagree, Sweeney dropped a fifth lifeless bird on my peep-toe pump.

I knelt down next to him. He had dug so deep almost all nineteen pounds of him were immersed in the hole.

“Hey, what are you . . .” He swiped one paw with a particularly vigorous motion and a clump of dirt launched onto my black skirt. “Sweeney, for goodness sake.” He stopped digging and let out a long, guttural mmrrrow. He pushed back out of the hole and eyed me intently. My stomach tightened with dread. “What have you found, baby?”



Award-winning author of the Rosalie Hart Mystery Series
Murder at Barclay Meadow, Minotaur Books, 2015
Death at the Day Lily Café, Minotaur Books, July, 2016
Suspense Magazines pick for Best Cozy 2016

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

I write the kind of book I like to read. I like character-driven books with lots of heart. I want to feel when I read. I want to laugh, sometimes cry, and root for the protagonist. I like a plot that moves along and has a satisfying ending. If your predilections are similar, I think you will enjoy my series.

How did you come up with the title of your book series?

In book one, Rosalie Hart escapes to a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland after learning of her husbands affair. She moves into an two-hundred-year-old house bequeathed to her by a late aunt. I made up the name for the farm, Barclay Meadow. Not long ago a woman contacted me to say she lives in a small development in Oregon called Barclay Meadowsand wondered how I came up with the title. I was totally surprised to hear it was an actual place. I have since learned Barclay Meadows is a small community of 20 homes that surround the original farm house. There are even more coincidences we are discovering. Now the women are passing around both books in the series and letting me know how much they are enjoying them.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular design?

My books are published by Minotaur and as with most traditional publishers, I didnt have much say in the cover. The only thing I was able to change was the color of the Labrador Retriever. That being said, I think both covers are stunning.

Who is your favorite character?

Rosalie is my favorite character. I think shes a kind, thoughtful person, with a need to right the wrongs in this world. Another character, Janice Tilghman, managed to steal my heart as well. Originally a minor character, she now ends up with the funniest lines.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your series.

The setting is the Eastern Shore of Maryland, a unique part of the country full of small, quaint towns populated by farmers, watermen, and families who have lived there for generations. The fun fact is I moved to the Eastern Shore in December. And I have never been happier.

Where did your love of reading/storytelling/writing/etc. come from?

I wowed my mother when I read the book Madeline to her at the age of four. She thought I could read. But I had simply memorized it. Im not sure if she ever figured that out. But reading was a big part of my growing up. My mother was a teacher and in the summers she would take us all to the library at the start of the week. She would pay us $1.00 for every book we read. $2.00 if it was a chapter book. While we perused the shelves, she would head to the mystery section where she would select a new author and proceed to read every book in the series. The next week she would start with another author. When I write, my mother is my audience. She never got to read my mysteries, but her best friend assured me she would have loved them.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Im pretty good at always knowing what time it is. Im also a pretty good cook. Several years ago I traveled to Italy with some friends to attend cooking school in the hills of Tuscany. The passion Italians have for cooking with even the simplest ingredients sparked an ember in me. Rosalie shares that love. Cooking is her way to nurture others. In the second book she opens the Day Lily Café. There are recipes and menus in the books. Ive even done some cooking gigs on CBS. You can view them on my website.

Whats the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

Great question! For my story in Happy Homicides I did a lot of research on the stages of body decomposition. The pictures were a bit graphic. Right now Im researching the different ways to poison someone with common herbs.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

There is a link to my email on my website. You can also message me on my FB fan page. I will always answer, most times the same day. My website has all kinds of goodies including book trailers for both books and yummy recipes.

What can we expect from you in the future? What are you working on now?

I am currently working on book 3 in the series. Im having a lot of fun with this one. I introduce Rosalies older brother and he has already stepped onto center stage. There is also Happy Homicides 6 to look forward to in the fall. That cozy anthology will have a cooking theme.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

The best advice I ever received was to allow yourself to write badly. Just get that first draft down and then edit, edit, edit. And when you think its ready? Edit it again.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


The authors are supplying a bonus gift for readers.  They can receive it by sending an email to

Happy Homicides 5: The Purr-fect Crime authors include Joanna Campbell Slan, Linda Gordon Hengerer, David Bishop, LouLou Harrington, Neil Plakcy, Teresa Trent, Terry Ambrose, Amy Vansant, Randy Rawls, Christina Freeburn, Wendy Sand Eckel, and Karen Cantwell.

For more information, go to or visit us at

To read a free sample, get your copy of Happy Homicides 2: Crimes of the Heart here:

Joanna Campbell Slan:  

RT Reviews has called Joanna Campbell Slan “one of mystery’s rising stars,” and it’s easy to see why. She’s the award-winning and national bestselling author of three mystery series. Her first series, the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery series, was an Agatha Award Finalist, and features ace scrapbooker Kiki Lowenstein. Previous to writing fiction, Joanna penned seven scrapbooking technique books and wrote for Creating Keepsakes, Memory Makers, and PaperKuts. She has taught scrapbooking online, on cruises, and in Europe, as well as here in the US.

Linda Gordon Hengerer:

Linda was a football widow during her first marriage, and she wrote American Football Basics (original title Football Basics) because she thought more women would enjoy football if they understood it. She is also interested in food and wine, and has written an easy guide to food and wine pairings.

New Jersey native turned Florida resident, Linda moved to Vero Beach in 1996. She writes the Beach Tea Shop Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in an area suspiciously like Vero Beach.

LouLou Harrington:

Writer, traveler, and nature enthusiast Loulou Harrington is the author of the Myrtle Grove Garden Club mystery series. Originally a native of northwest Arkansas, Loulou now resides in the Tulsa area and spends frequent weekends wandering among the lakes and foothills of northeastern Oklahoma, the setting of her cozy series and an area she hopes her readers will enjoy as much as she does.
Beginning her career as a romance novelist, she published nine contemporary romances with Harlequin, writing as Ada Steward, before succumbing to the lure of her first love: the mystery novel.
First discovering Nancy Drew as a child and continuing with Miss Marple and Travis McGee as an adult, Loulou learned to appreciate the puzzle and suspense of the mystery combined with the familiar characters and settings of the recurring series. So while she still believes that into each life a little romance should fall, she has come to the opinion that it should trip over at least one dead body along the way.

Neil Plakcy

Neil Plakcy is the author of the Mahu Investigations, mysteries which take place in Hawaii. They are: Mahu, Mahu Surfer, Mahu Fire, Mahu Vice, Mahu Blood, Mahu Men, Zero Break, Natural Predators and Children of Noah.

His M/M romance novels are, Mi Amor, Love on Site, Love on the Web, Love on Stage, Love on the Pitch, and the Have Body, Will Guard series: Three Wrong Turns in the Desert, Dancing with the Tide, Teach Me Tonight, Olives for the Stranger, The Noblest Vengeance and Finding Freddie Venus.

He has also written the golden retriever mysteries In Dog We Trust, The Kingdom of Dog, Dog Helps Those, Dog Bless You, Whom Dog Hath Joined and Dog Have Mercy.

He is co-editor of Paws & Reflect: A Special Bond Between Man and Dog (Alyson Books, 2006) and editor of many gay erotica anthologies. A journalist, book reviewer and college professor, he is also a frequent contributor to gay anthologies.

Teresa Trent

Teresa Trent writes cozy mysteries that take place in small towns in Texas. She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee but with her father in the military, didn't stay for long. She's lived all over, but likes to call three states her favorite homes. Colorado, Illinois and of course, Texas.  Being a fan of the Andy Griffith Show and Murder She Wrote she loves creating quirky small towns and colorful characters. She decided to feature a character with Down syndrome in the Pecan Bayou series because after giving birth to her own son with DS, she discovered there were very few people like him in the world of cozy mysteries. If you're wondering which book to start with in the Pecan Bayou Series, start with #1 A Dash of Murder. Many of Teresa's mysteries occur before or during a holiday and A Dash of Murder is her Halloween book.

Terry Ambrose

Terry Ambrose started out skip tracing and collecting money from deadbeats and quickly learned that liars come from all walks of life. He never actually stole a car, but sometimes hired big guys with tow trucks and a penchant for working in the dark when “negotiations” failed.

A resident of Southern California, he loves spending time in Hawaii, especially on the Garden Island of Kauai, where he invents lies for others to read. His years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons including—always keep your car in the garage.

Amy Vansant

Amy specializes in fun, comedic reads about accident prone, easily distracted women with questionable taste in men. So, autobiographies, mostly.

Amy is the former East Coast Editor of SURFER Magazine but the urge to drive up and down the coast interviewing surfers has long since left her. Currently, she is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy who works at home with her goofy husband.

She loves interacting with fans when the dog isn't laying on top of her, so stop by her blog or Twitter and say hi!

Randy Rawls

I'm Randy Rawls, author of mysteries and thrillers. I grew up in northeastern North Carolina, then did a career in the Army. I've been an avid reader all my life and have tried to incorporate what I learned from the best into my writing. While I live in South Florida, my heart resides in Texas. I'd love to hear from you at

Christina Freeburn

Reading has been a part of Christina's life since she can remember and soon developed into a love of writing.

Read about her writing process, her hobbies, and the heroines she believes are a self-rescue princess at her blog The Self-Rescue Princess.

Wendy Sand Eckel

Degrees in criminology and social work, followed by years of clinical practice, helped WENDY SAND ECKEL explore her fascination with how relationships impact motivation, desire, and inhibition. Combined with her passion for words and meaning, writing mystery is a dream realized. She lives in Maryland where she enjoys family and friends, two cats, and living near the Chesapeake Bay.

Karen Cantwell

Karen's novel, Take the Monkeys and Run was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (under the original title of Monkeys in My Trees)and has gone on to be a Kindle bestseller on Amazon. She has written three more books in the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series: Citizen Insane, Silenced by the Yams, and Saturday Night Cleaver.

When she's not writing, Karen loves gardening and spending time with her family. She is currently working on the release of Keep Me Ghosted, the first book in the new Sophie Rhodes Ghostly Romance Series, as well as beginning the draft of Kiss Me, Tate, part of the upcoming Barbara Marr spin-off, Love in Rustic Woods Series.



The authors will be awarding a $50 Etsy GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 8:
May 8: Christine Young
May 9: Fabulous and Brunette
May 10: Sharing Links and Wisdom
May 11: EskieMama and Dragon Lady Reads
May 11: Queen of All She Reads
May 12: A Writer's Life
May 12: Long and Short Reviews
May 15: Danita Minnis
May 16: Musings From An Addicted Reader
May 17: Hearts and Scribbles - promo
May 17:
It's All About the Romance
May 18: This and That Book Blog
May 19: The Reading Addict


  1. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. Thanks so much for this blog post! Your questions were terrific and I really enjoyed answering them.

  4. Looking forward to the new book!

  5. This sounds awesome, thanks for sharing :)

  6. Terrific interview, Wendy!

  7. There was an old house in Paris...and I wish I could be magically transported there today, Wendy. So glad you are a part of this adventure.

  8. Wow Wendy has an amazing background to put together a book that can seem so real!

  9. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

  10. Great interview, Wendy. And great questions. Really enjoyed the blog post, and everything looks fantastic!

  11. What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com.

  12. The Edgar Awards were just announced so I am definitely picking up those books. And Elizabeth Strout has a new one out. I read 'The Arrangement,' on vacation for a little fun. It was good but a little bit predictable. A friend I met at Killer Nashville last year just released a book with Minotaur, 'Your Killin' Heart.' I look forward to that one for sure. Thanks, Joseph. What are you reading next?

  13. Love book tours and have really enjoyed all the Happy Homicides.


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