Today Wednesday Writers has the pleasure of welcoming fellow author Carole Brown back. She’ll be telling us a bit about her West Virginia Romantic Mystery series.
Country road, take me home . . .
Warm, fuzzy feelings. Friendly, nosy neighbors, Friends who are loyal. Families who stick together through thick and thin. Sometimes: gossip, backbiting, jealousy, theft and murder.
An editor described to me a long time ago, that all these things make a cozy mystery.
In this series–The Appleton, West Virginia Romantic Mysteries–I chose West Virginia for several reasons:
- We’ve traveled through and visited within the state multiple times. It’s almost a second home.
- I’ve researched the state online, interviewed WV-ians and traveled specifically for that purpose
- I love the land, the mountains and streams, the country and equally important, the towns, the culture.I created the small town, Appleton, so I could play with the setting as much as I wanted. Appleton has a pompous mayor, a handsome banker, a pastor and youth pastor who are spiritual and encouraging, a café owner who’s just a bit over-the-hill, but who thinks she’s still God’s gift to men, and several others who live in the small town atmosphere.
In Sabotaged Christmas (Book One), Toni DeLuca, owns a construction business she inherited from her father. She also inherits his love for wood, the art of creating structures and individual pieces of furniture. She has a friendly, confident, happy personality with just a bit of the Italian temperament her father gifted her. I brought in a disillusioned, bitter college professor sans author along with his young son to throw some romance into the picture, and some construction sabotage, threatening notes and an inheritance to add mystery into the atmosphere.
Knight in Shining Apron (Book Two), is due out soon! Starli Cameron’s story revolves around her restaurant business that she began with the insurance money from her husband’s death. Still hurting from his abuse, she finds it hard to trust any man, particularly good-looking men who find her attractive. She can’t cook, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a business woman, and even though she wants the best chef available, Sir Joel Peterson-Blair, with his sanguine personality and reputation of one of the best chefs in the world, is not her choice. Throw in a brother-in-law who feels called to shred her confidence with his hassling remarks, a long-time banker friend who wants their relationship to go much farther, a childish employee who insists she deserves more from Starli than she’s getting, and random acts of violence against her beloved security blanket–Apple Blossoms–and the romance and mystery set the stage for hometown action.The setting not only includes the places of business in this series–where many of the scenes take place, but also includes the people and their personalities. Each of these things, in the first two books of the West Virginia Romantic Mystery series has helped set the reader firmly into the novel, giving them the sense of belonging and experiencing both the romance and the mystery.
Knight in Shining Apron:
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.
Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?
And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?
About the Author:
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandson