Congrats on your new releases, ladies! What do you do to celebrate a new book?
Kate: I usually take the afternoon off and do something I don’t usually get to do, like read a book from my TBR pile, or meet a friend for some retail therapy. My therapy also includes dinner and a nice big glass of a rich red wine.
Ellery: I get a pedicure. I figure I deserve the treat and I always get ideas for new stories during a foot massage!
Abby Knight must be a delight to write – she has so much fun! Can you give us a sneak peak about something she gets into in NIGHTSHADE ON ELM STREET?
Kate: Besides having to solve a murder mystery and prepare for her bridal shower, my feisty florist is forced to confront some heavy baggage from her past. Readers learned in book one, MUM’S THE WORD, that Abby was dumped by her former fiancé Pryce Osborne II just two months before their wedding. The pain and humiliation from that break up have been with Abby for a year-and-a-half now and she’s never dealt with it, other than to crack a few jokes.
In this story, circumstances beyond Abby’s control bring all that pain to the surface, until she has no choice but to face it down, which she does in typical Abby style. It was interesting for me to watch her wiggle and squirm, trying to shove that baggage back down into its hidey hole and pretend it didn’t exist.
What about Olivia? What new challenges or excitement does she face in WRITTEN IN STONE?
Ellery: Oh boy, there are so many. Olivia starts out by learning that there’s a witch living across the harbor and the witch has asked for Olivia by name. Claiming to have once known Olivia’s mother, the witch gives Olivia a mysterious piece of pottery and a warning. And then she ends up dead. Suddenly, Olivia finds herself in the middle of a Lumbee Indian powwow, a decades-old crime that now threatens her and those she loves, and her blossoming relationship with Chief Sawyer Rawlings. Luckily, the Bayside Book Writers are there to help her through it.
Tell us something Abby would do that you would never do.
Kate: I’d never lead a protest march, break into a suspect’s home, or confront a killer. Otherwise, Abby and I are both fierce about justice being served.
What about Olivia? What would she do that you would never do?
Ellery: Olivia is much braver than I could ever be. She says the things I’d only think. I love writing her. I know she’ll do anything to set things right in Oyster Bay.
Kate: I learned my basic skills from my mother, but my recent favorite teacher/celebrity chef is Rachael Ray. I’m such a fan of her 30 minute meals. I just don’t have time to fix anything elaborate.
Ellery: My mom is an amazing cook. I consider myself more of a baker. You have to be willing to make mistakes in the kitchen. You have to just let loose and go for it. If it doesn’t come out right, then you don’t make it again. I love the Barefoot Contessa.
Kate, Is Simon the cat modeled on a real life animal? Do you have any pets at home?
Simon is named after another Simon, a white cat I had years ago, but he’s a conglomerate of the myriad felines I’ve had over the years. I lost my last pet, a beautiful calico, a few years back and have been traveling so much, I’ve decided not to replace her. I sure do miss that companionship, though.
Ellery, What about Captain Haviland the poodle?
He’s based on the dog my mom had growing up. I grew up with cats and large dogs and now am owned by four felines.
What do you think readers like most about your series?
Kate: The humor and the romantic subplot between Abby and Marco. It’s the perfect escape.
Ellery: The setting allows readers to escape to the beach any time of the year and I think readers really respond to the way Olivia is opening up and forging intimate relationships.
Kate, can you reveal a teeny, tiny secret from NIGHTSHADE ON ELM STREET —something that you’ll only share with our loyal Cozy Chick readers?
Two of the suspects in NIGHTSHADE are based on characters from the old TV show, GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. I would bet readers would be able to pick them out, but here’s a hint: think Thurston and Lovey. That’s all I’ll say, other than that it’s a fun AND suspenseful plot.
What about you, Ellery? Can you reveal a teeny, tiny secret from WRITTEN IN STONE?
This one’s kind of confusing, but it’ll make sense when you read the book. Hudson, Olivia’s half brother, believes he sees the ghost of their father. The truth? It’s no ghost…
NIGHTSHADE ON ELM STREET Available at your local bookstore or Amazon.com, Indiebound.com, Barnes & Noble
WRITTEN IN STONE: A BOOKS BY THE BAY MYSTERY Available at your local bookstore or Amazon.com, Indiebound.com, Barnes & Noble