Character Interview part 2

 

A couple weeks ago I did a character interview. Here are the questions from part 2.

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From Peggy H: Shredder – Kathi recently mentioned she was thinking about doing more cross-overs with her characters and your name came up. How would you feel about leaving Hawaii and helping her other characters with their mysteries?

Shredder: I’m the sort of person who never stays in one place for long. It is vital that I live my life in the shadow never really coming into the light. I have enjoyed my time in Hawaii, and I value the friends I have made, but I know that, like life, my time here is fleeting, and as the tides change so must I.

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From Joanne K. – Jack and Jill – Are the cold cases you’ve been stumbling upon becoming increasingly more complex?

Jack and Jill: It would seem that way at this point, although in investigation as in life, the natural flow of things would find times of great intensity to be followed by times of slow awakening.

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From Rita D. – Jill – do you think you and Jack will be together forever?

Jill: At this point it is a little early to say for certain but I will say that the idea no longer feels stifling to me so I guess we’ll just have to see how things work out.

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From Connie C. – Alyson, now that the men who have been chasing you are dead will you return to your old life?

Alyson: It is hard to know where life will take me. For the first time in a long time I actually have choices and a future. In the time I have lived in Cutter’s Cove I have loved my life as Alyson, but there are things about Amanda that I miss as well. I guess at this point all I can really say is that I’m in no hurry to make a change and will try to keep an open mind as I navigate the future.

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From Deb L. – Lani, now that you are going to open a detective agency with your father will you quit your job at the resort?

Lani: Absolutely. The chance to not only work with my father but to get to know him better is absolutely priceless to me. I intend to commit my full energy to making a go of it.

 

If you have any character questions for a future blog post feel free to ask them below.

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Finding Justice

 

OMG, I am so thrilled that Finding Justice has finally seen the light of day. I think I have procrastinated with this story more than any other story in the history of my career. I wanted something a little different but still with plenty of cozy to go around and I think I found the right combination. I hope you love it as much as I do. For those of you who haven’t taken the plunge and committed to the new series here is a preview.

 

 

There are people in the world who insist that life is what you make of it. They will tell you that if you work hard enough and persevere long enough, everything you have ever desired will one day be yours. But as I sat in the fifth dingy office I had visited in as many months, and listened as the fifth pencil pusher in a dark suit and sensible shoes looked at me with apologetic eyes, I finally understood that not every dream was realized and not every wish granted.

“Ms. Carson, do you understand what I’m saying?”

I nodded, trying to fight back the tears I absolutely would not shed. “You’re saying that you can’t consider my grant application unless I’ve secured a facility.”

The man let out a long breath, sounding like a wheeze, which I was sure was more of a sigh of relief. “Exactly. I do love your proposal to build an animal shelter in your hometown, but our grant is designed to be used for ongoing operations. I’m afraid without a physical presence we really must move on.”

I leaned over to pick up my eight year old backpack. “Yes. I understand. Thank you so much for your time.”

“Perhaps next year?” the man encouraged with a lopsided grin.

I smiled in return. Granted it was a weak little smile that did nothing to conceal my feelings of defeat. “Thank you. I’m certain we’ll be able to meet your criteria by the next application cycle.”

“We begin a new cycle on June 1. If you can secure a facility by that time, please feel free to reapply,” the man encouraged.

I thanked the bureaucrat and exited his office. I tried to ignore the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach and instead focus on the clickety-clack created as the tile floor came into contact with the two-inch heels I’d bought for just this occasion. Had I really been working on this for more than two years? Maybe it was time to throw in the towel and accept defeat. The idea of building an animal shelter in Rescue, Alaska, was a noble one, but the mountain of fund-raising and paperwork that needed to be scaled in order to make this particular dream come true seemed insurmountable at best.

I dug into my backpack for the cell phone that rang just as I stepped out of the warm building into the bracing cold of the frigid Alaskan winter. I pulled the hood of my heavy parka over my dark hair before wrapping the bulk of my down jacket tightly around my small frame.

“So, how did it go?” My best friend, Chloe Rivers, asked the minute I answered her call.

“It went.”

“What happened?” Chloe groaned.

I looked up toward the sky, allowing the snow to land on my face and mask my tears. “The grant is designated for operations, so we aren’t eligible until we have a facility. The problem is, we have no money to build a facility and no one will give us a loan for one unless we have capital for operations already lined up. It’s an endless cycle I’m afraid we can’t conquer.”

“We can’t give up. You know what you have to do.”

“No,” I said firmly. “We’ll find another way.” I knew I sounded harsh, but I had to make Chloe understand.

“Another way?” Chloe screeched. I listened as she took a deep breath before continuing in a softer tone. “Come on, Harmony, you know we’ve tried everything. There is no other way.”

Chloe’s plea faded as an image flashed into my mind. I closed my eyes and focused on the image before I spoke. I knew from prior experience that it was important to get a lock on the psychic connection before I said or did anything to break the spell. Once I felt I was ready, I opened my eyes and tuned back into Chloe’s chatter. I was certain she hadn’t missed a beat even though I had missed the whole thing. “Look, I have to go,” I interrupted. “Someone’s in trouble. I’ll call you later.”

After hanging up with Chloe, I called a cab and then called Dani Mathews. Dani was a helicopter pilot and one of the members of the search-and-rescue team I belonged to. She’d offered to give me a lift into Anchorage for my meeting today and I’d taken her up on it.

“Someone’s in trouble,” I said as soon as Dani answered.

“I was about to call you. I just got off the phone with Jake.” Jake Cartwright is my boss, my brother-in-law, and the leader of the search-and-rescue team. “There are two boys; one is fifteen and the other is sixteen. They’d been cross-country skiing at the foot of Cougar Mountain. Jake said they have a GPS lock on a phone belonging to one of the teens, so he isn’t anticipating a problem with the rescue.”

The cab pulled up and I slipped inside. I instructed the driver to head to the airport, then answered Dani. “The boys dropped the phone, so Jake and the others are heading in the wrong direction.”

I slipped off my shoes as the cab sped away.

“Do you know where they are?” Dani asked with a sound of panic in her voice.

“In a cave.” I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the image in my head. “The cave is shallow, but they’re protected from the storm.” I took off my heavy parka and pulled a pair of jeans out of my backpack. I cradled the phone to my ear with my shoulder as I slipped the jeans onto my bare legs.

“Where’s the cave, Harm?”

I closed my eyes once again and let the image come to me. “I’d say they’re about a quarter mile up the mountain.”

“Are they okay?” Dani asked.

I took a deep breath and focused my energy. There are times I wanted to run from the images and feelings that threatened to overwhelm and destroy me, but I know embracing the pain and fear is my destiny as well as my burden. “They’re both scared, but only one of them is hurt. Call Jake and tell him to check the cave where we found Sitka.” I referred to our search-and-rescue dog, who Jake and I found lost on the mountain when he was just a puppy. “And send someone for Moose.” I glanced out the window. The snow was getting heavier and it wouldn’t be long before we would be forbidden from taking off. “We’re almost to the airport. Go ahead and warm up the bird. I should be there in two minutes.”

I hung up the phone and placed it on the seat next to me. The driver swerved as I pulled my dress over my head and tossed it aside. I knew the pervert was watching, but I didn’t have time to care as I pulled a thermal shirt out of my backpack, over my head, and across my bare chest.

“What’s the ETA to the airport?” I demanded from the backseat.

“Less than a minute.”

“Go on around to the entrance for private planes. I have the code to get in the gate. My friend is waiting with a helicopter.”

As the cab neared the entrance, I pulled on heavy wool socks and tennis shoes. I wished I had my snow boots with me, but the tennis shoes would have to do. The boots were too heavy to carry around all day.

As soon as the cab stopped, I grabbed my phone, tossed some cash onto the front seat, and hopped out, leaving my dress and new heels behind.

“You’ve forgotten your dress, miss.”

“Keep it.” I said as I flung my backpack over my shoulder and took off at a full run for the helicopter.

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Character Interview

 

A couple of weeks ago I asked the gang on my Kathi Daley Books Group page to ask questions of the characters in my books. Here they are.

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Sally Hannoush asked: Zoe, how many kids do you and Zak want to have?

Zoe: If you ask Zak he will say at least five but for now I’m focusing on Catherine and the big changes I know she will bring to my life. We do have a huge house however, and it is sad to have so many empty rooms, so….

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Taryn Lee asked: Cait, have you always been drawn to cats or did your attachment begin after they started showing up to help sleuth out your latest mystery?

Cait: I have always loved animals but honestly, prior to Romeo showing up and changing my life, I was more of a dog person. I’m athletic and love to run and bike and a dog can run along with you. Of course my Aunt Maggie runs a cat sanctuary, and I have always helped out so I had access to cats pretty much every day, which is probably why I chose a dog as a personal pet.

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Judy Tucker asked: So Zoe, will you be thinking twice about chasing after the bad guys?

Zoe: Nope

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Pam Spalding Paterakis asked: Zoe do you think your two best friends and their family will always live next to you?

Zoe: It’s hard to know where the passage of time will take you but I hope they always live next to me. Levi and Ellie are not only my best friends but they are family. I know that wherever we all end up they will always be a very important part of my life.

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Dana Barrentine asked: Zoe do you want a boy or a girl?

Zoe: Well since I know that I am going to have a girl I guess I’d better say girl, but even if I didn’t know for certain, I think it would still be a girl I would wish for.

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Donna Fuller asked: Tj, if you end up marrying Kyle do you think you and the girls will move into his home of do you think you’d choose a new home together?

Tj: We’d definitely move into Kyle’s home. I already feel that a piece of that home belongs to me. Kyle lives there now but the home has been my life a lot longer, so I feel like I own the history. Even though Kyle has redecorated, I can still see Zachary sitting in his favorite chair or walking the dark halls. I can see his grin when I solved one of his puzzles or his look of anticipation when he thought he’d stumped me. I love the idea of raising a family in the home where Zachary showed me the magic of imagination.

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Sandy Swanger Bartles asked: Kyle do you see marriage in the future for you and Tj, and if so would you adopt the girls?

Kyle: I have loved Tj from the first minute I saw her. The journey we needed to take for her to realize that she loved me has been a long one, and I feel that she might still want to take things slow, but yes, it is my greatest wish and heartfelt dream to one day make her my wife. And as for the girls, I already love them like they are my own, so yes, I would love to adopt them but the decision would be theirs.

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Sharon Brasswell asked: Blackbeard where do your sleuthing powers come from?

Blackbeard: Now if I told you that it would spoil the fun.

 

If you have a question for a character ask it in the comments below and I will try to answer it in a future blog.

 

The winner of the $5 Amazon gift card from last weeks blog is Rich. Email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your prize.

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Character Guest Post

 

As part of my launch for Fireworks in Paradise I had to do a few posts from the perspective of the character. Here is a fun one I wanted to share for those who missed it. Basically it is a complaint form which characters use if they want to issue a complaint to the author.

 

OFFICIAL CHARACTER COMPLAINT FORM FOR KATHI DALEY BOOKS

Date of initial complaint: June 16, 2017
Subject of complaint: Romance

Briefly describe your complaint:
Dear Ms. Daley,
While I have enjoyed working with you these past three years, I feel that when it comes to the area of happily ever after I have been slighted. Zoe and I began working with you within just a few weeks of one another, and while she is happily married to a wonderful man with a baby on the way, I am being asked to endure yet another heartache. I know that it is not your intent to treat any of your characters unfairly, but all I can say is; what’s up with that? I know you are really busy but if you could find it within your heart to find me the perfect match, I would greatly appreciate it.
Sincerely, Tj

June 20, 2017
Dear Tj,
I hear what you are saying and I do feel your pain. It does seem that you have had the hardest time out of any of my characters when it comes to love and romance. I cannot predict the future since in the end it is the characters who write the stories, but my instinct is that love is right around the corner if you are willing to go all in and take a leap of faith.
Hugs, Kathi

July 1, 2017
Dear Ms. Daley,
Wow, when you said take a leap of faith I wasn’t aware that you meant a literal leap but I did as you suggested and I have to say that in spite of everything else that is suddenly wrong in my life I finally believe that love is real and happily ever after may in fact be an actual reality. I will admit to being scared and unsure but I am also hopeful, and most of all, happy.
Thank you, Tj

July 4, 2017
Dear Tj,
You are welcome. I’ve got things started, it is up to you to make them work. You are a brave young woman who is willing to take chances in most areas in your life. Don’t let fear be your guide, because in the end, the only real answer is to open your heart and let love in.
Hugs, Kathi

 

Comment below to be entered to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card. The winner of last weeks gift card is Suzanne. No last name was given but I imagine you know who you are. Please contact me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your prize.

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Bring on the Color

 

Fall is finally here. It is a short but brilliant season as most years, by the time Halloween rolls around, the trees have bared themselves in order to make way for the winter snow.

 

While every season in Tahoe has something to offer, it is the fall that I find the most peaceful and relaxing. The crowds have gone leaving our streets clear of traffic, and the restaurants and beaches are left uncrowded. The temperature has cooled to the point where the scent of wood fire fills the air, and the only sound you find when walking along the beach or in the forest is the sound of your own breath.

 

 

I have a huge maple in my front yard and one of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to buy pumpkins as soon as they show up in the store and display them in my wagon under the tree. There is just something about pumpkins and fall leaves that leaves me feeling happy and content inside.

 

 

It is for these quiet moments when I am alone with nature that I long for during the hot and busy days of summer. But I know the beauty of fall is fleeting, and it won’t be long until winter wraps us in months and months of snow. So I cherish every moment granted me until they cycle continues and the beauty of fall circles around once again.

 

To be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card comment below and let me know what you enjoy about fall.

 

The winner of last weeks gift card is Ruth Nixon. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

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Tj is Back!!!

 

The next Tj Jensen will publish on October 10 and I have to say that I am very excited about this one. Poor Tj has struggled to find her place in the worlds more than any of my other characters and with this book I feel like she has finally come home.

The book opens with Tj on an airplane flying home after finding out that her father was in a serious car accident and a good friend has been killed in that same accident. She arrives in Paradise Lake feeling lost and fragile but quickly finds her mojo when she decides to take matters into her own hands and hunt down the low life she was certain caused the accident.

While I very much enjoyed Tj’s trip to Gull Island in Treasure in Paradise, it felt right to see the whole family back together again and Tj finally in love with man worthy of her commitment.

If you don’t have Halloween in Paradise it is on sale from Today through October 11 for only $.99. Henery Press doesn’t put the books on sale very often so now is a good time to grab it if you need it.

http://amzn.to/2xvDjKs

I’ve included the Kindle link but it is also available in audible, audio CD, hardcover, paperback, Nook, Ibooks, and Kobo.

 

Comment below and let me know if you have tried the Tj Jensen series. I will choose one person from the comments to receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

The winner of last weeks gift card is Debra Woloson. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

 

 

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Halloween Spooktacular

I am using this weeks blog to promote the fifth annual Kathi Daley Books Halloween Spooktacular. Please hop over and ‘join’ the event so you don’t miss out.

https://www.facebook.com/events/350493128712833/?active_tab=discussion

From October 1 – 25 I will randomly be posting games, giveaways, and Halloween recipes and ideas.  From October 26 – 30 my co-hosts will take over: A Cozy Experience, A Cup of Tea and a Cozy Mystery, Booth Talks Books, Brooke Blogs, Cinnamon & Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder, Cozy Up With Kathy, Girl With Book Lungs, Lisa Ks Book Reviews, MJB Reviewers, and Summer Prescott Books.

Here is a partial list of authors scheduled to do takeovers:

Meg Muldoon, Annette Dashofy, Maria Schneider, Susan Boles, Diane Harmon, Tracy Weber, Terrie Moran, Tonya Kappes, Krista Davis, Alice Loweecey, Sharon Farrow, Barbara Early, Catherine Bruns, Paige Shelton, Jenny Kales, Marla Cooper, Sparkle Abbey, K.A. Davis, Ellen Bryon, Daryl Wood Gerber, Jennifer Snow, Julie Moffett, Karen MacInereney, Summer Prescott, Patti Benning, Carolyn Q. Hunter, Jenna St. James, Karoline Barrett and Donna Walo Clancy, Vickie Fee, Susan Boles, Leslie Nagel, Kate Dyer-Seeley, Julie Mulhern, L.J.M. Owen, Joyce Tremel, V.M. Burns, Kay Charles, Jenny Kales, Janice J. Richardson, Merrilee Robson, Sandra Bretting, Terry Lynn Thomas, ML Bullock, Mary Ellen Hughes, Nikki LeClair, CeeCee James, Catherine Bruns, Linda Reilly, Julie Seedorf, Lyn Cahoon, Julia Buckley, Jenna Harte, Nancy Naigle, and more.

Comment below and let me know if you have an idea for a Halloween themed game or contest I can run. I will randomly choose one winner from the comments to receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

The winner of last weeks gift card is Cheryl Leehy. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card

 

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Trick or Treason

 

It’s Halloween once again and Zoe is on the trail of the killer responsible for the death of a long time friend. Check out this preview of the annual Halloween installment of the Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery Series.

 

Chapter 1
Monday, October 23

 

“I think I first realized I was in trouble when the marshmallow ghost decided to lead an attack against the Milky Way king. I remember grabbing my candy corn shield as I prepared for what was to come, but when the Raisinets began to rain down on the entire candy kingdom, I knew a shield made of candy corn wasn’t going to be nearly enough.”

“Sounds terrifying,” my best friend, Ellie Denton, replied as she tossed a bag of Snickers into her basket. We were shopping at the Halloween store in preparation for the upcoming holiday.

“It really was,” I confirmed, my heart still racing at the memory of the dream I’d had the previous night.

Ellie handed her six-month-old son, Eli, one of the small stuffed pumpkins she’d picked up from a nearby bin. “So what did you do once you realized the entire world was about to be covered in Raisinets?”

“The only thing I could. I dove into the chocolate sea and swam for my life. What do you think it means?”

Ellie turned toward me with a smile. “I think it means Catherine wants you to lay off the Chinese takeout so close to bedtime.”

I put my hand on the small bump under my loose-fitting T-shirt. “You think?”

Ellie laughed and grabbed my hand in hers. “I do. I have to hand it to you, Zoe Donovan-Zimmerman; you’ve been experiencing the most entertaining pregnancy symptoms of anyone I’ve ever met.”

“Lucky me.” I groaned as I pressed my hands into the small of my back.

“Is your back still hurting?” Ellie asked with genuine sympathy in her voice.

“It has been. I guess I knew back pain would be part of the pregnancy package, but I’m only a couple of weeks into my third trimester. If my back hurts this badly so early in the game I can’t imagine what it’s going to feel like when I reach my ninth month.”

“Have you talked to your doctor?”

I nodded. “He told me to slow down a bit. Like I can even consider doing such a thing. Haunted Hamlet is next weekend and I don’t have nearly enough volunteers lined up for the kiddie events, the Halloween dance at Zimmerman Academy is on Friday and I still need to get Alex a dress, and Scooter’s soccer team entered a tournament that starts on Wednesday.” I referred to Scooter Sherwood and Alex Bremmerton, the two thirteen-year-olds who lived with my husband Zak and me.

“You do have a lot on your plate,” Ellie admitted.

“If that was all I had to worry about I might be fine, but to top it all off, the guy from the county is coming this week to do his final inspection on the remodel at the Zoo,” I said, referring to the wild and domestic animal rescue and rehabilitation shelter I owned. “I know Jeremy is on top of things, but still, I worry. We have two additional bear cubs coming in two weeks to winter with us and we’re already at capacity. I don’t know what we’ll do if we can’t open the new wing.”

“It’ll be fine,” Ellie assured me. “Jeremy is a fantastic manager and he knows what he’s doing.”

I did agree that Jeremy Fisher had matured quite a lot from the nineteen-year-old I originally hired five years ago when I still worked for the county.

“Do you think these leaves will look good around the front window of the boathouse?” Ellie asked.

I looked at the garland of red, yellow, and orange leaves. “I think they’ll look really nice. You might want to put some around the door as well.”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Ellie tossed the leaves in her basket and then continued on to the costumes. Now that the remodel on the boathouse was complete, this was going to be her first Halloween in her new home and Ellie was going all out, it seemed.

“Zak is in the midst of his usual decorating crazies. The exterior of the house looks like a haunted wonderland, but there’s still a lot to do on the inside. Personally, I hope he scales back a bit. I’m exhausted just watching him do his magic and we’ve barely entered the holiday season.”

“Zak does tend to go all out with the decorating,” Ellie said. “Of course, he goes all out in everything he does. Now, I want to concentrate the rest of my energy on a costume. I think I might dress up as Elvira this year. Last year I needed to cover up my figure, but this year I think I’ll show it off. Carrying Eli around has done wonderful things to my arms.”

“That’ll look nice,” I said enviously. I had no idea what I was going to dress up as this year. I was pretty much to the point in my pregnancy where I simply looked fat, which wasn’t a good look on my small frame, so I supposed I’d go as a ghost or some other figure-forgiving costume.

I watched as Ellie picked up a fuzzy costume and held it up in front of her adorable offspring. “You aren’t going to dress Eli as Elmo, are you?”

Ellie looked down at the costume. “I was thinking about it. Is there a problem with Elmo?”

“He’s just so red.”

“And that’s bad because…?”

I let out a long sigh. “Red is just a darker shade of pink.”

“Are you still duking it out with Mother Zimmerman about the color of the nursery?”

“The woman is definitely a paint swatch away from sending me over the edge,” I grumbled.

Ellie returned the Elmo costume to the rack and picked up a Cookie Monster one. “How do you feel about blue?”

“Blue is fine. I’ve always liked blue and I used to like red. I’m actually fairly outraged that Mother Zimmerman ruined red for me.”

“And how did that happen exactly?” Ellie placed a black wig on her head and studied herself in the mirror.

“She designed a nursery decorated entirely in pink and white and then surprised me with an interior designer who just showed up on our doorstep with a van full of paint, wallpaper, bedding, and furniture. You know how I feel about pink?”

“I do. Pink is the devil. I thought Zak talked to his mom and explained the whole pink-is-evil thing.”

“He did. I thought it was taken care of until the designer showed up with all the same items, only in a deep rose shade. Mother Zimmerman insists it’s red, but I know dark pink when I see it. There’s no way my daughter is going to spend the first months of her life in a prissy pink room.”

Ellie placed her hand over her mouth. She pretended to cough, but I could see she was suppressing a chuckle.

“It’s not funny,” I insisted.

“Actually, it kinda is.”

“What am I going to do? The woman is driving me crazy and she hasn’t even shown up yet for her live reign of terror.”

“When is she coming?”

I let out a long breath. “I don’t know exactly. She keeps moving it up. First it was going to be after Christmas, and then she decided that as long as she was making the trip she may as well be in Ashton Falls for the holiday. The last I heard she was planning on arriving in mid-December, but I won’t be surprised if she’s in town by Thanksgiving. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with her once she does arrive. I know she’s Zak’s mother, and I know I need to find a way to make peace with her, but she’s just so dang nosy and bossy. No matter how hard I try to keep my cool she turns me into a crazy woman. Combine that with the pregnancy hormones and I actually think I might be capable of committing murder.”

“You might not want to say that quite so loudly, but I do agree that she seems to have a way of pushing your buttons.”

“Catherine is my daughter. I want to design the nursery. With Zak’s input, of course. This should be a fun project we can work on together, but instead the whole thing is giving me indigestion.”

Ellie replaced the wig and continued to the aisle with orange lights and rubber spiders. “Have you talked to Zak about your desire to decorate the nursery on your own?”

“I have.”

“And…?”

“And he said he’ll handle his mom.”

“Is there any reason you don’t believe him?”

I picked up a large rubber bat and tossed it into my own basket. “No.” I sighed. “He told me to choose any color I want and he would make sure nothing other than that color touched the nursery walls.”

“It sounds like your wonderful, thoughtful husband has it handled, so I really don’t see the problem.”

I started to cry.

“You have a counterpoint?”

“I don’t know what color to choose,” I sobbed. At that moment it really hit me hard that Zoe Donovan-Zimmerman had officially given in to the baby bump blues.

 

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“Better?” Ellie asked me a short while later after she’d ushered me out of the Halloween store and led me down the street to Rosie’s, where she ordered us each a cup of soup and a loaf of warm bread to share.

I glanced at Eli, who was sleeping in his stroller. “I’m better, but I’m pretty sure your baby is a felon.”

Ellie frowned until I pointed to the fuzzy pumpkin Eli still clung to but Ellie hadn’t waited to pay for. “Oops. I guess I’ll need to go back when we’re done here.”

I took a sip of my soup, sat back in the booth, and felt myself relax. It was nice to be out with my best friend on a weekday evening with nothing more to do than look at the fantastic decorations the town had put out. “I have the strangest feeling of déjà vu, only last year it was you having the meltdown in the Halloween store and me ushering you out the door and down the street to Rosie’s.”

“I guess we have come full circle,” Ellie said. “Let’s just hope we don’t receive a cryptic message leading to a murder mystery this year.”

“Yeah. I could do with a murder-free holiday for once. I don’t know why I’m letting everything get to me. I love Halloween. I should just sit back and enjoy the season.”

“I agree, you should. Catherine needs you to relax a bit.”

“That’s exactly what my doctor said, and Zak has been worried that I’m so on edge all the time. I think if I can make a decision on the nursery once and for all I’ll feel a bit more settled.”

“Okay, so let’s talk about it.” Ellie buttered a piece of the bread and popped a corner of it into her mouth. “I know pink is evil and you’ve lost your fondness for red, but there are a lot of other very nice colors.”

“Yeah, but which one?”

“Maybe you should start with a theme.”

I considered that. “That might be a good idea. Maybe something with animals. I think a room filled with soft, fluffy stuffed animals would be fun. Maybe Noah’s Ark or the zoo. Or maybe an enchanted forest with cute baby animals.”

“I love that idea.” Ellie smiled. “You can have a mural painted on one wall. There could even be fairies hidden among the trees. That would give it a girly feel without suffering a pink explosion, and maybe the other walls could be a neutral color that would complement the forest scene, like pale blue or pale green. And Mother Zimmerman already bought white furniture, which would look very nice, and it wouldn’t clash with the animal theme.”

I smiled. “While I find myself resisting using Mother Zimmerman’s crib, it really is very nice, and it has a matching dresser, changing table, bookshelf, and rocking chair. I love your suggestion for the mural, and using her furniture would help to smooth things over with her.”

“It would be fun to shop for cute bedding for the crib. I can even make something if you can’t find exactly what you want.”

I grinned. “Okay. It looks like we have a plan. Thank you. Suddenly, I feel much better. In fact, I think I’m going to splurge on dessert. Order me a piece of pumpkin pie. I need to run to the ladies’ room.”

“Whipped cream?”

“Of course,” I answered as I slipped out of the booth.

Spending the evening with Ellie was exactly what I’d needed. She knew me well enough that she always said exactly what would make me feel better. Not only did I finally have a vision for the nursery that I loved, but I felt more relaxed than I had in weeks. When Zak and I had decided to try for a baby I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t be one of those weepy, emotional women who stressed out over every little thing, but so far that was exactly what I’d been. But that ended today, I decided, as I walked down the hallway to find a line at the bathroom door.

“I hope you aren’t in a hurry,” the woman I fell into line behind commented. “There are two teenage girls in there and despite our frequent knocks on the door they seem to be taking their own sweet time.”

“Are you sure they’re okay?” I asked.

“They’re fine. Every now and then I can hear giggling.”

There were two women in front of the woman in front of me. I didn’t want to wait around for the girls to finish and the three women in line to have their turn. After a moment of indecision, I decided to sneak out the back through the door leading from the kitchen to the alley, and then head next door to Bears and Beavers, where I knew store owner Gilda Reynolds would let me use her ladies’ room.

I stepped out of the kitchen door and into the alley, where I almost tripped over something laying just beyond the threshold. I bent down to take a closer look at the item, which appeared to be a blanket with something wrapped inside, when I noticed a human foot peeking out the other end. I slowly lifted the edge of the blanket closest to where I knelt, before taking my phone out of my pocket and calling Sheriff Salinger. It looked like a murder-free holiday wasn’t going to be in my future after all.

 

To be entered to win a $5 Amazon gift card comment below.

The randomly chosen winner of last weeks gift card was Opal Mayan. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

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How to solve a Kathi Daley Murder Mystery

 

I did a four week murder mystery through my newsletter. This is a detailed explanation as to how to solve it for those who had a problem doing so. I will be doing another murder mystery through my newsletter during October as well as a murder mystery during my Kathi Daley Books Halloween Spooktacular so even if you didn’t participate in this murder mystery you might want to check out the helpful hints which can be extrapolated and used in the future.

 

First off here was the setup:

Twelve guests were invited to a murder mystery weekend. One of the guests was killed for real on the first night in the old mansion. Follow the clues provided each week to determine who the victim was, who the killer was, and what color shirt each was wearing.

The answer should include the name of the killer and the name of the victim as well as what color shirt each was wearing.

Guest Names:
Wilma
Walter
Tiffany
Toby
Sarah
Steven
Ronald
Regina
Peter
Patricia
Mike
Molly

Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue
Green
Red
Pink
Black
Brown
Yellow
Orange
Purple
White
Silver
Gold

 

At this point I make two list. One is labeled Killer and one Victim.

Killer                                                       Victim
Guest Names:                                       Guest Names:
Wilma                                                    Wilma
Walter                                                    Walter
Tiffany                                                    Tiffany
Toby                                                        Toby
Sarah                                                      Sarah
Steven                                                    Steven
Ronald                                                   Ronald
Regina                                                   Regina
Peter                                                      Peter
Patricia                                                  Patricia
Mike                                                       Mike
Molly                                                      Molly

Color of shirt worn by guests:       Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue                                                     Blue
Green                                                  Green
Red                                                      Red
Pink                                                     Pink
Black                                                   Black
Brown                                                 Brown
Yellow                                                 Yellow
Orange                                                Orange
Purple                                                 Purple
White                                                  White
Silver                                                   Silver
Gold                                                     Gold

 

Here were the first set of clues:

The Killer did not wear a Green shirt.
The victim was not Molly.
The Victim did not wear orange or red.
The Victim was not Ronald who wore blue

 

We now know – Red Eliminated

Killer                                                       Victim
Guest Names:                                       Guest Names:
Wilma                                                    Wilma
Walter                                                    Walter
Tiffany                                                    Tiffany
Toby                                                        Toby
Sarah                                                      Sarah
Steven                                                    Steven
Ronald                                                   Ronald – Blue
Regina                                                   Regina
Peter                                                      Peter
Patricia                                                  Patricia
Mike                                                       Mike
Molly                                                      Molly

Color of shirt worn by guests:       Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue                                                     Blue
Green                                                  Green
Red                                                      Red
Pink                                                     Pink
Black                                                   Black
Brown                                                 Brown
Yellow                                                 Yellow
Orange                                                Orange
Purple                                                 Purple
White                                                  White
Silver                                                   Silver
Gold                                                     Gold

 

Here are the second set of Clues:

Toby, who wore a red shirt, was not the killer.
Peter, who wore a yellow shirt, was not the victim.
While the bad guy often wears black and the good guy wears white in this case the killer did not wear black and the victim did not wear white.
The killer did not wear Blue or Purple.

We now know – red eliminated
Killer                                                       Victim
Guest Names:                                       Guest Names:
Wilma                                                    Wilma
Walter                                                    Walter
Tiffany                                                    Tiffany
Toby                                                        Toby – Red
Sarah                                                      Sarah
Steven                                                    Steven
Ronald                                                   Ronald – Blue
Regina                                                   Regina
Peter                                                      Peter – yellow
Patricia                                                  Patricia
Mike                                                       Mike
Molly                                                      Molly

Color of shirt worn by guests:       Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue                                                     Blue
Green                                                  Green
Red                                                      Red
Pink                                                     Pink
Black                                                   Black
Brown                                                 Brown
Yellow                                                 Yellow
Orange                                                Orange
Purple                                                 Purple
White                                                  White
Silver                                                   Silver
Gold                                                     Gold

Here is the third set of clues:

Steven, who was not the victim, wore a brown shirt and Sarah wore pink.
Walter, who was not the victim, wore a black shirt, and Regina wore Purple.
Mike and Molly did a couples theme with Mike wearing Gold and Molly wearing Silver
The killer was not Patricia who wore white and Wilma who wore green was not the victim.

We now know – red eliminated
Killer                                                       Victim
Guest Names:                                       Guest Names:
Wilma                                                    Wilma – Green
Walter                                                    Walter – Black
Tiffany                                                    Tiffany – (Orange) 
Toby                                                        Toby – Red
Sarah                                                      Sarah – Pink
Steven                                                    Steven – Brown
Ronald                                                   Ronald – Blue
Regina                                                   Regina – Purple
Peter                                                      Peter – yellow
Patricia                                                  Patricia – white
Mike                                                       Mike – Gold
Molly                                                      Molly – Silver

Color of shirt worn by guests:       Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue                                                     Blue
Green                                                  Green
Red                                                      Red
Pink                                                     Pink
Black                                                   Black
Brown                                                 Brown
Yellow                                                 Yellow
Orange                                                Orange
Purple                                                 Purple
White                                                  White
Silver                                                   Silver
Gold                                                     Gold

**NOTE – at this point you need to refer to old clues and make some inferences. First of all we can figure out that Tiffany wore an orange shirt because orange is the only color left. Since the victim did not wear orange we can figure out that Tiffany was not the victim.

Additionally, in the first set of clues we learned that the killer did not wear green – We learned that Wilma wore green in this set of clues so Wilma cannot be the killer – The clue also says that Wilma is not the victim so Wilma and Green are off both lists.

Another example is in the second set of clues we find out that the killer did not wear black. In this set we find out that Walter wore black. It also says that Walter is not the victim so both Walter and Black are off both lists.

We learned that the killer was not Patricia who wore white – we learned in the second set of clues that the victim did not wear white so Patricia and white are off both lists.

(If you don’t have everyone crossed off by this point that I do pause and go back to look at earlier clues)

Final set of clues
The killer did not wear silver or brown.
The victim was not Mike.
The killer was not Tiffany who wore orange.
The victim did not wear purple and the killer did not wear Gold.

We now know – red eliminated
Killer                                                       Victim
Guest Names:                                       Guest Names:
Wilma                                                    Wilma – Green
Walter                                                    Walter – Black
Tiffany                                                    Tiffany
Toby                                                        Toby – Red
Sarah                                                      Sarah – Pink
Steven                                                    Steven – Brown
Ronald                                                   Ronald – Blue
Regina                                                   Regina – Purple
Peter                                                      Peter – yellow
Patricia                                                  Patricia – white
Mike                                                       Mike – Gold
Molly                                                      Molly – Silver

Color of shirt worn by guests:       Color of shirt worn by guests:
Blue                                                     Blue
Green                                                  Green
Red                                                      Red
Pink                                                     Pink
Black                                                   Black
Brown                                                 Brown
Yellow                                                 Yellow
Orange                                                Orange
Purple                                                 Purple
White                                                  White
Silver                                                   Silver
Gold                                                     Gold

 

*NOTE – when we learn that the killer did not wear silver or brown we also learned that Molly who wore silver and Steven who wore brown were not the killer.

The Victim was not Mike so Gold was also not worn by the victim.

The killer was not Tiffany who wore orange – so eliminate both Tiffany and orange from the killer – we also know from the first set of clues that the victim did not wear orange so Tiffany is not the victim.

The victim did not wear purple – we know from the third set of clues that Regina wore purple so Regina is not the victim.

The killer did not wear gold so we know that Mike who wore Gold was not the killer.

At this point the killer can either be Sarah who wore pink or Peter who wore Yellow. However the only person who can be the victim is Sarah who wore Pink and the victim and killer cannot be the same person so The Victim was Sarah who wore Pink and the Killer was Peter who wore Yellow. 

Respond below and be entered to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Last weeks gift card winner was Linda Davis. Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

 

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RV Lifestyle – Sort Of

 

Last winter Tahoe got like 800 inches of snow. It was seriously the craziest winter I can remember. Given the fact that I have been dealing with some back issues and didn’t want to risk a slip and fall, I mostly stayed at home and wrote while Ken took care of all the errands. Suffice it to say that by the end of winter I was ready to get out of the house.

 

Ken and I have talked about having a beach house for years but so far the idea hasn’t been economically feasible. Then my sister told me about a RV resort right on the beach only a half a days drive from Tahoe. The Pismo Beach area is not one we have visited in the past, but we took a trip down to check it out and realized that having a place to go for part of the winter really would make another hard year, should we have one, all that much more tolerable.

While in Pismo this past spring we took a day to look at RV’s and ended up buying a 5th wheel even though we don’t even have a truck to tow it. Luckily we don’t really need to tow it to use it the way we intend. We hired a service to transport it directly from the dealership to a storage lot, and then we will have the same service deliver it to the resort each time we stay. It really does seem to be a perfect solution to the cabin fever we had last year, and is close enough we can go back and forth as often as we want so as to spend time at both locations.

We leave this weekend for our first trip to the 5th wheel. We have been collecting items to outfit our home away from home all summer so I think this trip will be all about getting set up. Still I do plan to walk on the beach between writing sessions so check in over at my Facebook page for photos as we spend our first week at our new ‘beach house.’

I plan to turn the dining table into my office away from home. I think I’ll get a lot of good writing done there. Our plan at this point is to spend 10 days out of every month at the coast which I hope will only heighten my ability to focus on the awesome books I have planned.

 

In order to be entered to win a $5 Amazon Gift card comment below. If you have been to Pismo and know good places to eat let me know that as well.

 

The randomly chosen winner of last weeks gift card is Debbie S. (I guess this is Debbie Steele?) Please email me at kathidaley@kathidaley.com to collect your gift card.

 

 

 

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