Romance, No Matter How Silly, Can Be a Great Part of a Mystery

I’ll admit it, I’m a big fan of Castle, the television show. Nathan Fillion plays an adorable man who runs around his swanky New York apartment playing laser tag with his daughter, and romantically sometimes he reminds me of a high school crush. What’s not to love? There is a solid supporting ensemble who play in and out of the story and they just make the relationship between Castle and Kate even better. As much as I enjoy the show, Castle has been clawing and scraping for their last few years of wonderment. Holding out the sexual tension and then the should-we-make-a-life-long-commitment decision was a little painful to watch. Still, though they finally tied the knot with the traditional tv “write your own vows” thing.

“Rick, I pledge my love to my partner in crime…” Dang! I wish my husband and I had thought of saying that!

Maybe I’m being just a little too cynical because I really do love Castle. I’m still waiting for my family to give me my very own bulletproof vest with the word “Writer” printed on it.



My Pecan Bayou series follows a similar path in that Betsy meets Leo in the first book and their romance plays out from book to book going from dating to the final book, Murder for a Rainy Day, when she gives birth to their child. When the two characters get married in Buzzkill they pledge their love just like Kate and Castle, but when Leo whispers in Betsy’s ear at the altar, it’s to tell her he’s solved the mystery.

I know, I’m a hopeless romantic.

In Murder for a Rainy Day I struggled with Betsy in that she is 8 1/2 months pregnant and expected to catch a killer. If you have ever been that pregnant, you already know that the thing you most want to catch at that time is a nap, not a killer. As Betsy naps, she dreams. When she dreams, she is visited by people who have passed on, namely the victims in the first five books. You would think these people would be grateful for her assistance in bringing their killers to justice, but they are the people they were in life. Some are arrogant, some are insulting, but they all give her clues to solving the murder at a time when she will need that information the most.

If you want to know more about Betsy’s dream visitors, here are the first five books in the series.

#1 A Dash of Murder – a Halloween ghost hunting mystery

#2 Overdue for Murder – a library mystery

#3 Doggone Dead – a Fourth of July mystery

#4 Buzzkill – a wedding mystery

#5 Burnout – a Thanksgiving mystery

#6 Murder for a Rainy Day -. an extreme weather mystery

This blog post previously appeared on Brooke Blogs

The Mask of Midnight Sneak Peek Tour

I  have a really great book today to recommend to my readers, especially readers who like thrillers.  This is actually a SNEAK PEEK  of the book before it is released to the public.  When it does come out, this one is worth the investment. Laurie Steven’s Gabriel McCray series is outstanding, and I was lucky enough to get to read an advanced copy and review it .     This author has
mask-at-midnight-188x300publishing houses knocking at her door and after reading the book, I can see why.  Lessons learned from this book?  If a serial killer invites you to a party–don’t wear the costume he gives you.  Better yet, stay home.  I was throwing things at the wall at that point.  Still, even though a normal person wouldn’t dream of doing something like that, Laurie Stevens makes it entirely believable.

My Review:  5 Stars

The Mask of Midnight pulls you in immediately with a serial killer who is finally going to see his day in court. Victor Archwood is one of the best villains I’ve ever seen written.  Stevens really gives you the idea that he is all seeing and at times invisible as he goes after his prey. Gabriel McCray is a psychologically damaged cop who has a history with Archwood and sexual abuse.  McCray must fight his own inner battles if he has a chance of coming out stronger than the truly evil Victor.  Great writing, pace, characters!  Loved it.  I’m going to be reading the first two books in the series.  LaurieStevensw

Cold Weather and March/April Appearances

Baby TomatoesHere it is spring already.  It is spring, right?  Even in South Texas we’re getting the arctic blast that is wreaking havoc everywhere else.  I have about 8 tiny tomato plants sitting in my kitchen window waiting to get planted.  I’m hoping this is our last cold spell, because my little window garden is ready to go in the ground!  I know that by summertime I’ll be dreaming of these chilly days and trying to remember what it felt like to wear a sweater.  Right now, though, there’s chili on the stove and lots of writing to do!

Good news, I’m finishing up the first book in my Piney Woods series.  I have a whole new set of characters (that I’m already crazy about) and lots of surprises in this book.   I’m not sure about the status of this one- if I’ll go Indie or try traditional.  It’s in the “what if column” for right now.

Here are some exciting places I’m going to be at in the next month or so!

I will be doing an author visit at Freeman Memorial Library in Houston, Texas on March 9.

I will be appearing at Katy Budget Books in Katy, Texas on April 12 from 2-4 for the Dear Texas Event.

A Dash of Murder @ 99 Cents!

Pecan Bayou Series #1

Pecan Bayou Series #1

One thing I often find is that when people read the first book in my Pecan Bayou Series, A Dash of Murder, they tend to want to read more of Betsy and Leo and all the crazy characters in Pecan Bayou.  So the good news is, if you haven’t read the first book, it is now available for 99 Cents on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and more.   Could you go on a ghost hunt in an abandoned hospital…at night?  I’ll admit it.  The closest I would get to that is in my own head!  The joy of writing.

From Bunnie’s Review-

I love reading a good mystery and this one did not let me down. The author will take readers on a trail with ghost, murder and a little romance. This book is a short fast read. Yet, the author created a book that will keep readers interested until the end. I did not figure out the villain until it was revealed in the book. Okay no more about that I do not want to write any spoilers.


Michele Lynn Siegfried visits with her new book Community Affairs + A Giveaway!

Seigfried photo Community AffairsOur visiting author this month is Michele Lynn Siegfried with her newest book Community Affairs.  This is the second book I’ve read in the series and I have to say they just keep getting better.  What I like about Michele’s writing is definitely the pacing.  You can’t put it down.  The characters are engaging and funny and the scene with the flaming dog poop on the porch?  Is this a Jersey thing?  That is a ONE BAD NEIGHBOR.

Michele was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing and after you read that don’t forget to scroll down and find the prize guy!  Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of Community Affairs, and an ebook copy!

Here’s Michele…..

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi Teresa!  Thanks for hosting me on your blog today! 

I guess I’ll start with telling you about my books! I have written three mystery novels for adults and seven children’s picture books. The mystery novels are all part of the Jersey Shore Mystery Series and include Red Tape, Tax Cut and Community Affairs (in that order).  The children’s books I write are inspired by my toddler, who just turned three this month. I was an art minor in college, so I love to illustrate as well as write.  Writing and illustrating for me are an escape from reality! I find both to be relaxing and fun.  

Other than being a mom, I also work full-time in a government job. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and though I travel a lot, I’ve never lived elsewhere. I come from a very large Italian family and I have a beautiful adopted English Setter puppy too!  

 What inspired the idea behind your book?  Or should I ask, what are your neighbors really like? 

I knew I wanted to write a third book in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, and I just loved Bonnie’s character so much that I wanted to give her a leading role. Yes, I have had some crazy neighbors—not quite with the antics Lyla Spratt pulled in Community Affairs! I also get inspiration from current events or even not so current ones, like the anthrax scare at a major post office in the town where I grew up. 

Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?

Boy, it is hard to pick just one.  Bonnie is fun to write because she can be so crazy. Tex’s sarcasm is a lot of fun as well. Here is one of their exchanges: 

 I dialed Tex’s cell phone. I wasn’t sure if he’d be at work on a Saturday. He answered on the second ring.  

“Speak to me.” 

“That’s a rude way to answer your phone.” 

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the whore who lives next door.” 

“And I’m talking to the prick who was hit with the Entenmann’s stick.” 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” 

“It means you’re cruel and overweight. It also means you’re not too bright, being that I had to explain it to you.” 

“Hey. That wasn’t nice.” 

“And I didn’t appreciate you calling me a whore.” 

“Fine. Truce?” 


“So, let me guess. You are calling about your neighbor.” 

“Yes, but I’m not complaining. I called to tell you my neighbor sent the envelope with the powder in it to my work.” 

“Yes, dear. I’m already aware.” 

“Oh. How did you know? Cop code? You guys are worse than little old ladies with the way you gossip.” 

“No, Ms. Know-It-All. I got a call from Homeland Security.” 


 How can readers find your books and what other books are in this series? 

 Readers can find my books on, Barnes and Noble, and many other retailers. They can also find out more information about each on my website 


The books in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series are: 

Red Tape 

Tax Cut 

Community Affairs 

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Community Affairs Prizes

$50 Amazon gift card

An autographed copy of Community Affairs

A Kindle copy of Community Affairs


My Review of Community Affairs- 5 Stars

Michele Lynn Siegfried does it again with her city clerk, Bonnie Fattori who sometimes can’t keep her mouth shut or her sense of flirtation down to a respectable level.  This time Bonnie encounters a crazy new neighbor with a husband who just loves to flirt.  Miss Siegfried peppers the story with some wonderful descriptions that had me laughing out loud like “he lit up like a teenager with a fistful of ones at a nudie bar.”   This is a fun, fast-paced mystery to read with a plot twist you won’t see coming.   Just excellent!

Murder for a Rainy Day is Now Available on Nook

To all of my Nook readers- you can now pick up a copy of the sixth book in the Pecan Bayou Series- Murder for a Rainy Day.





Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. “Hunker down” with Betsy and the lovable characters of Pecan Bayou in the latest Betsy Livingston mystery from cozy author Teresa Trent. Recipes and helpful hints included.

Order on Nook

Devil in the Deadline Author Visit and Giveaway

great escape tour banner large devil in the deadline640
I’m so excited my visiting author this month is LynDee Walker with her new book Devil in the Deadline.  She creates a mystery from the perspective of an investigative reporter which really gets her into some great character revelations.   LynDee took some time to answer some questions and even shared a recipe.  My kind of writer!!

Of course there is a Giveaway!  Scroll down to find the Prize Guy for all this loot: A tote bag with a Richmond Telegraph t-shirt, an electronic copy of Front Page Fatality, a signed Hardcover copy of Heartache Motel, a $10 amazon gift card, and assorted Headlines in High Heels swag.

1. You came to writing novels as a journalist. How has that influenced your writing fiction?

Dialogue. That’s the place I see the most impact of my years reporting. I spent so many years

really listening to different people—from different backgrounds and cultures—speak. I hear the

characters talk in my head and it comes across as pretty true-to-life.

2. What inspired the idea behind your book?

This is the first book I’ve written where the central mystery was based loosely on a story I

covered as a working reporter. I’ve always wanted to fictionalize that world (I’ll let you guess

which parts are based on reality and which are totally made up). When my husband came in from

a run along the James last year saying “I know where your next body is going to turn up,” and we

discovered the old power plant, everything came together to put the televangelism story in this

book. It was such fun to send Nichelle to do things I didn’t get to.

3. Who is your favorite character to create scenes for in the book?

That’s a tough one! I love most of the characters in Nichelle’s world, and for different reasons.

They’re all fun people to write about. But I think my favorite is probably Grant Parker, the sports

columnist at the newspaper and a good friend of Nichelle’s. He’s an almost-professional pitcher

whose career ended before it really began because of a torn rotator cuff, and a local hero. Parker

is smart and funny and has an unshakable confidence that’s so much a part of who he is—and

really fun to write about.

Devil in the Deadline CoverHere’s a fun scene where he’s helping Nichelle dig up information in BURIED LEADS:

Feeling suddenly more dated than a pair of battered Doc Martens, I smiled and shook

my head, waiting for them to pass before I charged after Parker. By the time I caught

up to him, he’d been surrounded by a knot of college kids who were hanging on his

every word as he told a story about digging his team out of a ninth-inning, three-run

deficit with three three-and-outs in a row followed by a grand slam.

I laid two fingers on his elbow and he slid his eyes to me. He didn’t miss a beat in his

tale as he nodded subtly to a tall, dark-haired kid across the circle from him.

They erupted into spontaneous applause when he recounted crossing home plate and

he laughed.

“It was fun,” he said. “I played because I loved the game. Stick with that, and you’ll

never be unhappy.”

He kept his eyes on the dark-haired kid as he spoke, and the boy suddenly became very

interested in his shoes.


4. Living in Texas and being a burrito lover myself-what is your favorite kind?

I love just about any incarnation of Tex-Mex, and it’s hard to come by in Richmond. My go-to for a

craving is a burrito bowl I can whip up for lunch any day, thanks to single serve rice cups.

1 Single serving cup of mulitigrain or brown rice

1/2 lime

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 cup black beans, drained

diced tomato

1/4 cup sweet corn kernels, drained

2 tbsp sour cream

2 tbsp grated cheese


Remove lid and cover from rice cup, and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Microwave according to

package directions. Set aside.

Stir cumin into black beans and microwave until warm, usually about 30-35 seconds.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Makes one serving.

*you can easily add leftover taco or fajita meat to this dish with no modifications.

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5. How can readers find your books, and are there more coming in this series?

The books are available wherever books are sold—hardcover, trade paperback, and all ebook


This series is currently contracted with Henery Press through book six. Number five, COVER SHOT,

is slated for release in October.

My Review: 5 Stars

Holy Manolos!  How can you not love a book with a phrase like that?  Nichelle Clark is a reporter who has an outstanding ability to get people to trust her, whether it’s the suspect, the police or the killer.  In this fourth installment of the Headlines in High Heels Series, Nichelle or “Nicey” uses just that talent to get details on a murder from a group of homeless kids.  From there she is lead to a creepy megachurch pulling down loads of cash and finds her reporting is being scooped by a … blogger. I enjoyed LynDee Walker’s cast of characters including a sexy ATF guy and an uber sexy mob guy.  This book was funny and the pace of the mystery was terrific!